Association of Open University Graduates

The Evolution of AOUG

1985 First Graduate Conference

The first Open University Graduate Conference to consider the establishment of a national organisation of graduates was held on Saturday 14th December 1985 at the Open University campus, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes.


  • 130 OU graduates (20% of the graduates attended represented existing local groups - 80% of the graduates present came as individuals)
  • 19 Open University Staff (Including the Vice Chancellor, Dr J. H. Horlock and Pro Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grugeon)
  • 2 OUSA representatives - (President, Iris Price and Permanent Secretary, John Needham)

 Lord Perry, previous OU Vice Chancellor, conveyed his apologises and best wishes to the conference.
(Lord Perry was unable to attend due to major heart surgery the previous week)

Vice-Chancellor's address:

  • University anxious not to lead the graduates into any organisation.
  • Decision for graduates themselves 
  • University would help as much as possible in launching any organisation.
  • Essential that it was strong and influential
  • Relationship with OUSA must be considered

Pro Vice-Chancellor's address:

  • Gave background to OU  and student and graduate numbers
  • Had looked forward to this since the OU began

OUSA President address:

  • Both students and graduates belonged to the OU
  • Both shared the same interests
  • OUSA would help the graduates organisation in any way they could.

Conference decisions:

  • National organisation based on individual membership
  • Promote local groups
  • Central administration
  • Independence from the Open University
  • Formal constitution
  • Financially self supporting
  • Election of representatives (and reserve) from each region to form a Steering Group

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