National Union of Students

Markets, cuts, and education

Author

Maisie Sanders

The Augar review into post-18 education and funding, commissioned by Theresa May last year, was released on 30 May.

As yet the government says only that it will “take very seriously the report’s proposals”. The report presents its aim as a more “accessible” system of higher and further education that provides “value for money” for both students and taxpayers and is more responsive to labour market demands.

Undemocratic ban

Author

Maisie Sanders

At the National Union of Students (NUS) conference (9-11 April), University of Bath student Zeid Truscott was disqualified from standing for the National Executive Council (NEC) on grounds of antisemitism.

The biggest issues here are of elections being controlled by full-time officials, of the NUS’s general shutting-down of democracy, and of the culture of responding to anything by “banning” rather than argument.

Different “lefts” at NUS conference

Author

Maisie Sanders

The National Union of Student (NUS) Conference, 9-11 April in Glasgow, overwhelmingly voted through the biggest ever cuts to its democracy with the vocal support of the newly elected “left” leadership.

The reforms gut student control and entrench a right-wing vision of NUS as little more than a toothless lobby group.

But the Student Left Network produced a daily bulletin (picture is of it being given out!) and held regular left caucuses to campaign against the reforms and discuss the next steps in building a national, campaigning student movement and transforming NUS.

Defend NUS democracy!

Author

Maisie Sanders

This year’s National Union of Students (NUS) Conference in Glasgow (9-11 April), will be very different to previous years′. Elections will take place on the first day before motions debates begin, no official fringe meetings will take place due to "lack of funds for staff", and delegates will vote on a reform motion coming from the right-wing led by President Shakira Martin, which proposes scrapping all remaining structures which enable rank and file control of NUS.

NUS left plans for 9-11 April

Author

Maisie Sanders

Full details have been released of the cuts to democracy in the National Union of Students (NUS), which look set to block almost all remaining opportunities for ordinary students to control or influence what the union does.

Stitch-up in Labour Students

Author

Maisie Sanders

On paper, the Labour Party has 20,000 student members. But only 59 voting delegates attended Labour Students National Conference in Edinburgh on 24 February, representing a handful of Labour clubs.

The majority of the candidates on the unofficial “moderate” slate have been elected, despite the “Labour Students Left” slate, backed by Momentum, Open Labour and CLPD Youth, receiving many more nominations from clubs.

Conference plans to reshape student movement

Author

Maisie Sanders

Students from eighteen campuses across the UK gathered in Sheffield for the Student Left Network’s first national conference on 2-3 March to discuss reshaping the student movement.

Essex University Jewish Society ban blocked

More than 200 students at Essex University voted against the formation of a Jewish Society. It’s the first organised attempt to stop or ban a Jewish Society on a British campus for decades.

There has been no explanation from any group of “activists” or students as to why there was a vote against the society. The university responded to outcry about the vote by short-cutting the usual procedure under which all new societies have to be approved by student ballot. To that date, some 64% of votes had been in favour of allowing the new society.

Student left will meet 2-3 March

Author

Maisie Sanders

The Student Left Network’s first national conference will take place on 2-3 March at Sheffield Hallam University.

Left wing students from campuses across the country are getting together to decide how we can link up and spread our campaigns, where we should take the student movement next, share experiences and skills and debate political ideas.

Workshops will include

• how to organise student-worker solidarity campaigns, led by University of the Arts London Justice for Workers’ campaign

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