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A New Settlement - Membership Commission report

Monday 02-02-2015 - 18:05

Following consultation with students’ unions last summer, NUS established an independent Commission to report on the costs and benefits of NUS membership. The findings of their research are published today.

The report ‘A New Settlement’ lays out the key themes and recommendations of the Commission on the cost and benefits of NUS membership. The findings will be used to start a conversation between NUS and students’ unions about what sort of relationship they want in the future, starting next week in Sheffield.

Central recommendations:

  • The need for a ‘new settlement’ which significantly improves the whole approach to membership and restores a focus onto member value and benefit creation for students
  • The aim of the above being to create the means for all students’ unions to contribute, in a clear and fair way, to creating a strong national voice for students and other benefits to support them
  • A need for NUS' relationships with members to be based around two major areas – ‘voice’ and ‘development and enterprise’ – these are rooted in the mission of NUS and mutually dependent, but do different things and should be governed and financed in different ways

Ian Passmore, Chair of the Commission said of the report: "The research has told us very clearly of the importance the movement places on values and of its attachment to NUS as a body that upholds and promotes those values. What is equally clear is that there are themes of clarity, transparency, fairness and accessibility that need to be addressed.

"As a Commission we recognise there are significant implications for NUS and its members that flow from our recommendations and that the work required to implement is substantial. We hope that our perspective can play a part in establishing a basis for the relationship between NUS and students’ unions that recognises democratic compromise but within this context is a settlement that everyone can understand, buy into and support."

Toni Pearce, NUS President, said "We'd like to thank Ian and the commission for their work on this report. These are complex and sometimes difficult debates to be had, and an independent report such as this provides us all with a starting point for that conversation. Whilst we will all want to reflect on the recommendations and decide what to take forward, this report gives us a foundation upon which to make these decisions about the future, collectively, to ensure our movement can thrive.”

Have your say

Now the commission has reported, its for NUS and students' unions to take the conversation on and decide a way forward, which is why it will be the main item on the agenda at this month’s Strategic Conversation event. You can register for the two-day event here, or alternatively, take part in our Membership Commission webinar this Friday. The full Costs and Benefits Commission report can be downloaded here.

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