With the media narrative about students’ unions breaking from NUS getting somewhat out of hand, Mark Leach asks what’s actually going on – and runs down the key votes to watch out for in the coming weeks.
Sajid Javid didn’t like students’ unions a great deal in the 1990s – Mark Leach takes a quick look at an interesting history of the new Secretary of State’s involvement in student politics.
The news that Liam Burns has been elected as the new President of The National Union of students arrived earlier this afternoon. He won by a fairly convincing margin – 446 votes with Shane Chowen coming in second place with 279. Pundits were predicting a much tighter race – and there have been some extremely close results over the years. (In 2004, the winner won with a majority of just 2 votes).
Last week we reported on Aaron Porter’s impossibly difficult political situation and today he has announced that he won’t be seeking re-election in the forthcoming NUS elections. This will come as a shock to many who assumed that he would re-stand and most probably win. From his statement, it’s clear that he’s come to the conclusion… read more
This morning’s story in The Times about a leaked NUS memo advising students’ unions to “not fight against fees” was depressingly predictable. Wonkhe has seen the secret memo which is not at all hard to get hold of and it doesn’t advise anything of the sort. It discusses fees and what institutions might take into account when setting pricing levels and it suggest that SUs if not already, should demand to be part of the decision making process as the legitimate representatives of the student body. It suggests questions that might be worth asking as part of holistic campaign to ensure a fair deal for students. It doesn’t take an expert in campaigning to realise that a students’ union president will get more leverage through a well-informed debate at University Council than standing outside the registry with a placard saying “NO TO FEES!”