Tuesday 25-04-2017 - 21:00
NUS National Conference 2017 kicked off today and it kicked off in style. Over 1000 delegates and observers gathered today in Brighton for an action-packed day of debates, inspirational speeches and interesting fringes.
1. We heard from some very inspiring speakers
The annual democratic gathering opening with a series of rousing opening speeches. Sally Hunt spoke about the importance of collective action between NUS and trade unions, stating that "The bond between trade unions and NUS is unbreakable”. Conference then heard from Ahmad Al-Rashid, a Syrian refugee who told a captive audience about his harrowing experience of fleeing a war-torn country. Take a look at the full speeches if you missed it.
2. The Government is Cracking on the HE Bill
The Vice President (Higher Education) Sorana Vieru revealed that the Government has released major concessions in the Higher Education Bill, delaying the link between the TEF and Fees. Our hard work is paying off, but we must keep the pressure on. Sorana spoke in favour of a bold new plan to, and continuing the campaign to sever TEF and fees. The full accountability video and Q&A will be available on NUS Connect tomorrow.
3. We will commit to putting learners at the heart of the Post-16 skills plan
In July the Government published the Post-16 skills plan - their vision for the future of Technical Education and Apprenticeships. Conference welcomed this, but delegates registered their concerns over the implementation of this plan. Shakira Martin, Vice President (Further Education) outlined a plan to lobby for representation, work with and consult sector allies, campaign against fees, loans and influence any careers strategy that is released. The learner voice must be heard.
4. We must #LoveSUs, or nobody will.
Delegates debated and passed a number of significant motions. From free periods, to the promotion of the NUS Extra card and civic engagement through political action. Vice President (Union Development) Richard Brooks detailed his work leading on strategic support for Students’ Unions, and showing all the great work that they do through the #LoveSUs campaign. Keep an eye on NUS Connect for the full accountability video and questions tomorrow.
5. It's been e-Motion-al.
This year’s conference will be the biggest democratic gathering of students in the world and will discuss a record number of motions. Students <3 Democracy.