Wednesday 12-08-2015 - 11:10
Students’ union officers from across Wales gathered in Swansea yesterday for the first day of NUS Wales’ Y Talwrn.
The key theme of Y Talwrn this year is identifying how NUS Wales and Welsh students’ unions can work together to empower students and develop our movement, education sector and society.
Proceedings began with a video introduction to the priorities of each students’ union, both on a local and national level. We’ll be posting this video on our website soon, and we’re sure that you’ll agree that 2015/16 looks set to be a very exciting year in the student movement in Wales.
In her opening remarks, NUS Wales President Beth Button highlighted the need for a collaborative approach that sees NUS Wales working in partnership with students’ unions:
“We want to see a movement that’s directed and led by our students’ unions. NUS Wales isn’t just the voice of students and students’ unions, but rather a tool that empowers you to create change. Imagine a movement where you as students’ unions are directly influencing national policy; that’s the movement we want to see.
She also emphasised the need for students’ unions to become a force for good in their local communities:
“Students’ unions need to be opening up their student opportunities to the nearby schools, and work to develop our future members and future leaders. Students’ unions need to be working with their communities to make society a better place for everyone.
“To be a strong and respected movement, we need to be working together better than ever before.”
Beth referred to the challenges that will face the student movement in the coming year with vital funds being cut and reviewed, and the role that students’ unions have to play in mobilising students to vote in the upcoming Welsh Assembly elections.
In the next two sessions, there was an opportunity to learn more about the devolution landscape in Wales, and to develop manifesto asks and campaigning plans for the Welsh Assembly elections.
These were followed by roundtable discussions on topics submitted by students’ unions, which included international student visas, the implications of the budget cuts and how to develop links between students’ unions and local communities.
The day finished with two rounds of workshops delivered by colleagues from NUS UK, giving delegates an opportunity to learn more about quality students’ unions and the strategic support unit, student opportunities, sustainability and developing people within the movement.