Letter: No student revolt

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your report "Students revolt against the NUS" (20 February) featured a few dissenting voices from Leeds University, including two of my rival candidates in forthcoming National Union of Students elections, as illustrative of discontent.

The article failed to mention that NUS has contested five referendums on disaffiliation in the last 12 months, most of which were part of routine constitutional requirements recommended by NUS itself. At Southampton University, 97 per cent voted in favour of the NUS; at Sterling University, 73 per cent; Surrey, 97 per cent; Aston, 99 per cent; Birmingham, 74 per cent. Any government which was given such a succession of ringing endorsements would be up held as a shining example.

The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology Students' Union have not disaffiliated but rather derecognised their old union. NUS is encouraging them to hold a one member, one vote ballot on the issue.

NUS has been active all year in the fight against tuition fees, financial hardship, sub-standard accommodation, archaic complaint and appeals procedures, discriminatory assessment systems, low-paid, dangerous part-time work and poorly paid and under-resourced lecturers. Those at Leeds know full well that the NUS has organised a national day of action, a national lobby of Parliament and the forthcoming National Student Hardship Day this Friday, all in the fight against tuition fees.


National President

National Union of Students

London N7