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Inclusive education for all 2002-2011

(page 1 of 3)

Written by the Students Association Digital Exhibition project team

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Newspaper cutting from Open University Sesame Student Newspaper September 1972 page 3. Author unknown.
Image : NUS to start talks
Date: 1972

The introduction of the NUS card

Communications with the National Union of Students began in September of 1972 when the Association came into being. At this stage, the Association was still yet to establish an affiliation with NUS. 

Even though NUS were keen to engage Open University students as they could help to achieve the NUS mandate, which included increasing their part-time student membership numbers, they were concerned that OU students didn’t come together regularly enough. Even when Conference became a regular feature in the Students Association’s calendar, an agreement could not be reached, and OU students didn’t gain formal affiliation with the Union for a further 30 years. 

In 2005, President of the Association Joan Jones campaigned for OU students to be granted access to the NUS card, which could be used as a form of student identification and to find discounts from certain shops and restaurants. This successful campaign meant that OU students had now gained parity in this area with their peers at brick universities and were able to access the same benefits which had long been available to them. 

Today, OU students are still eligible to purchase a TOTUM card, which has now replaced the NUS card. The card is widely accepted and offers access to an ever-expanding range of discount deals from food, essentials, technology, travel, fashion, beauty and lots more. 

Inclusive education for all 2002-2011 (page 1 of 3)