Association of Open University Graduates

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Vice-Chancellor's message

Hello and happy 2019 to AOUG, what a fantastic year we are going to have to be able to celebrate our 50th together.

Recently, I was privileged to meet Jean and Derrick and Margaret from your Executive and learn a lot more about the wonderful activities and events that they put on for you and that passionate support they have for you in AOUG. So I’d like to offer a special thank you to the Executive, and to Jean in particular, for that passion that they bring and everything they’re doing for us. I look forward to more of it in the coming year. 

Alumni are a key part of our family and I do know some of you are “pioneers”. You’ve trail blazed, you were some of our students in the early 70s - think of all the millions who followed in your footsteps.

So let’s celebrate together, lifelong learning, life-changing learning, our shared heritage and what we are going to do together in the future.

Scotland’s graduate gains Award

AOUG awarded Helen Stein one of our Awards for the Regions and Nations in recognition of her steadfast achievements in gaining her BA degree and by the kind permission of the Edinburgh OU Centre, a presentation was made on 22nd October 2018. The ceremony commenced, and our Chairman explained the background of AOUG and our Foundation for Education Awards. Then the OU Director for Scotland, Susan Stewart, said a few words. She congratulated Helen on her outstanding dedication and thanked AOUG for providing such an Award for new graduates. Jan Stewart a senior occupational therapist and manager at City of Edinburgh Council, then spoke on behalf of Helen’s nominator stating Helen`s total commitment in all her studies.  Helen was then presented with a framed certificate and a cheque to the applause of all those attending – the audience included OU staff and AOUG members, one of which was Lewis McKay, the Local Contact for Edinburgh.

Research Recognised

Seven Research Students Award recipients were recognised for their dedication and achievements at the AOUG Research Award Ceremony in front of an audience of nearly eighty people. Tony Royle, Linda Plowright, Samantha Faircloth, Dominique-Alain Jon, Lucy Mackay Tumber, Tanya Lawes and Johannes Brokx had all been nominated by their supervisors who proudly presented them to the audience. Each of these students then received a framed certificate, AOUG information folder and a cheque by way of congratulations from Vice-Chairman Derrick Franks. As this was AOUG’s Thirtieth Anniversary year, a Bursary had also been offered and after undergoing an interview, including a presentation about her research, Claire Wanless had been selected by the charity Trustees to receive our AOUG Pearl Anniversary Bursary. Claire received a cheque for £1,000 to allow her to develop her research further. She also received a framed certificate and information pack. 

Follow my eyes

Dr Ursula Stickler, an Open University Lecturer in the German language with an interest in the teaching of a language by online tutorials, presented the AOUG 2019 Foundation Lecture. She spoke to an audience of AOUG Members, OU staff, Research Students and guests about the research she has been carrying out on how when tracking eye movements simultaneously of tutor and student, it was possible to discover the effectiveness of the tutorial process. This research is leading to improving the training of tutors in teaching methods that are productive for online tutorials.

AOUG at OUSA Conference

AOUG are pleased to be attending the OUSA Conference this weekend. Friday, Saturday and Sunday 17th, 18th and 19th June at The Open University, Milton Keynes. We are holding a stand in the Jennie Lee Atrium and will be hosting a workshop at the conference. Please come and visit us if you are attending. You can also follow AOUG on Facebook and Twitter.


Our AGM this year was held at the Palace Hotel, Buxton. The weekend began on Friday at 12 noon and members made a visit to Poole Cavern, this was followed by a local Derbyshire quiz that was held in the evening. Old friendships were refreshed and new ones were made. On Saturday the AGM business was conducted and in the afternoon some members joined a visit to Chatsworth House and Gardens. The Gala dinner was held in the evening with an excellent speaker and band. On Sunday morning members went for a visit to Eyam, in Derbyshire, to hear stories regarding the containment of the Plague. The AGM was held at a lovely venue and all members reported that they felt it was a very successful weekend.


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