Last week, your elected delegates from UEA attended the NUS National Conference in Brighton. This is a yearly event where delegates from Students’ Unions across the country come together to present their policies to the NUS Committee, and shape the direction of the organisation’s future projects. Our Welfare and Diversity Officer Amy Rust attended as uea|su’s elected Lead Delegate, as well as myself, Jack Lewis, Chris Ball and Abbie Mulcairn.
How did our policies do?
We took four policies to the NUS Conference, all of which were decided on and passed previously at Union Council. Our policies on migrants and Brexit were heard and passed, which is great. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, our nursing and employment motions were not heard. Here they are in more detail:
Defend migrants and support free movement (passed) – In recent years, international students have been viewed primarily for their economic contribution, and with the post-study work visa having been scrapped by the Government, many students and refugees have been seen in a negative light. This policy argues that international students should instead be treated as migrants, having the right to freedom of movement and to accessible education. The passing of this motion also meant the NUS have agreed to launch a campaign for and support Sanctuary Campuses for migrant and refugee students, combatting hate crime and allowing them to feel safe throughout their studies. UEA has always worked hard to promote the safety and diverse social worth of international students, having recently called on the University to increase the number of scholarships for refugees as part of our #ueaisunited movement. Our very own Abbie delivered a great summation speech for this motion, and I’m excited to see how this develops in the future.
Brexit means Brexit or so we’re told (passed) – This motion was put forward by 11 different Student Unions, and centres around campaigning for the protection of free movement throughout Europe and the need to remain in the single market. As this motion was also passed, the NUS will start to work with the European Students’ Union to lobby on issues affecting students and education, as well as showcasing the non-academic benefits of European, ERASMUS and International students.
Work work work work work – With NUS research showing that 3 out of 4 full-time undergraduate students are taking out paid employment to make ends meet, and with inadequate access to student support (especially for final years), we put forward this motion to lobby the NUS to work with TUC to promote students’ rights at work.
Stop doing over our Nursing students – We believe that Nursing students have been failed in recent years, with the scrapping of NHS Bursaries resulting in a steep decline in British Nursing and Midwifery applications. Placements are often inconvenient, and lack of support has resulted in high drop-out rates.
Full details of all motions are on the 2017 agenda. The minutes should be uploaded shortly, displaying the outcomes of all the motions.
Your new NUS National Executive Committee
Shakira Martin was elected as NUS National President, with a total of 402 votes. Malia Bouattia and Tom Harwood received 272 and 35 votes respectively.
With 320 votes, Amatey Doku was elected as NUS’ Vice President (VP) for Higher Education, with Emily Chapman winning the VP for Further Education role by a mere 3 votes, totalling 91.
Izzy Lenga will be the new VP for Welfare after receiving 393 votes, and Ali Milani took home the VP for Union Development role with 363. Finally, Rob Young will take the role of VP for Society and Citizenship after gaining a total of 366 votes.