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Welcome Flick Osborn, CUSU President

I am delighted to introduce this special 50th anniversary edition of The Guide to Excellence. In this year’s volume, you’ll find inspirational stories from the British and international education sector alongside recent news from Cambridge’s colleges and an account of CUSU’s fascinating 50-year history.    CUSU is a vibrant and forward-looking organisation, and the energy and idealism with which it was founded in 1964 are still evident today. It’s true that we’re a bigger team now with more resources at our disposal, and that we represent a far greater number of undergraduate and graduate students, but our aims and ambitions remain unchanged.    Throughout the past 50 years, CUSU has done a great deal to help improve conditions for its student members and for the wider community. Some of our successes have been far-reaching and transformative, others more low-key, but all have helped to make a real difference to our students’ lives and to the life of the university. In our early years, we achieved the hard-won right to student representation on many of the university’s decision-making bodies. We successfully challenged Cambridge’s traditionally male-only colleges to open their doors to women students and we have since built on that achievement by helping to make it possible for students from a wide range of under-represented groups to study here. Improving access and widening participation continues to be one of our most important aims.    In this very special year for us, we have started to move in several new and exciting directions, and we hope that these initiatives will ensure CUSU continues to thrive for at least another 50 years. So far in 2014, we’ve launched the first-ever CUSU Strategic Plan, which will shape the organisation’s identity and activities over the next three years. We’ve also hosted our first training conference for college and faculty student reps and have been working hard to find a new home for CUSU, one that will meet our members’ needs more effectively and provide a hub of student activity in the centre of Cambridge for many years to come.    As we look forward to the next 50 years of successful campaigning, CUSU invites you to dip in and enjoy this book. We hope that it will tell you all you need to know about our values, achievements and ambitions, about what’s happening in Cambridge’s 31 colleges and about developments in education across the world.

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