No to Ukip and yes to free education: NUS conference votes for surprisingly radical policies
Students voted for a range of left-wing and progressive policies at the recent NUS conference in Liverpool, including free education, a 5:1 payscale, a cops off campus campaign and a formal condemnation of the UK Independence Party.
President Toni Pearce opened the conference with a speech marking her plans to better engage students ahead of the 2015 General Election. She criticised the political establishment, the police, and the media, as well as the failure of those in power to address student issues.
But the first day was most notable for the progressive policies that were passed that afternoon. The "new deal for the next generation" set out the NUS strategy ahead of next year’s general election. Delegates chose to publicly hold to account “MPs who broke the pledge”, to oppose the privatisation of student loans, and to formally oppose the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).
The conference subsequently voted to launch a nationwide "cops off campus" campaign, and to create a legal fund for students facing charges “as a result of repression”.
The evening concluded with the passage of a controversial policy to campaign for a 5:1 pay scale in universities and colleges; meaning the highest paid employees cannot be paid more than five times the salaries of its lowest paid employees.
On the second day, delegates agreed to support the principal of free education, following the examples of both Scotland and especially Germany, whose tuition fees have been replaced with a graduate tax. But they remained confused as to whether the policy advocated a fully free education, or the introduction of an alternative graduate tax.
Following a debate surrounding the uncertain future of NUS London that evening, in which a bid for funding was rejected, two motions calling for equal representation of men and women at NUS were approved. From next year delegations will comprise a 50:50 gender split, with the elected council sharing the same make-up.
On the final day, two emergency motions were approved for discussion, with both passing. The first urged delegates to publicly campaign to bring back the recently deported Yashika Bageerathi, while the second sought to publicly oppose University Minister David Willets' recent cuts to disability funding for students with learning difficulties.
Toni Pearce, meanwhile, was re-elected President with an overwhelming majority, as was Raechel Mattey for vice-president union development, Joe Vinson for vice-president further education, and Colum McGuire for vice-president welfare.
Newly elected members to the executive council were Megan Dunn for vice-president higher education, and Piers Telemacque for vice-president society and citizenship.
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
£110 - £135 per day + Competitive Rates: Randstad Education Maidstone: Outstan...
£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Year 3 primary supply teacher ne...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Hull: Qualified Teachers needed for Supply in t...
£90 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Job opportunity for Nursery Suppl...