Friday 02-12-2016 - 10:00
Students across the UK are not being ignored and shut out of decisions affecting them. Today is #LoveSUs Day, a day where we come together to highlight the impact of students’ unions, why we are incredibly proud of all our amazing work, and why decision-makers need to take student voice seriously.
Across Further Education we are seeing budgets slashed, students’ union’s deprioritised and staff jobs put at risk.
In Northern Ireland, students’ unions remain completely unprotected in law, while in England, the government’s Higher Education and Research Bill has proposed huge shake ups to universities and downplayed the value of students’ unions.
In a fast-changing sector student voice is being considered an unaffordable luxury, rather than a core feature of a good education.
Today, we’re asking you to highlight the fantastic work students' unions do each and every day.
“Some called it fluffy. Some called it soft. A social media stunt, nothing more. But last year we harnessed deep affection for students’ unions by students, stakeholders, alumni and civil society and we achieved a remarkable thing. We scared the government off from thinking attacking students’ unions would be an easy fight.” - Richard Brooks, NUS Vice President (Union Development)
“My involvement in my own Students' Union back in the 1960s, at what is now the University of Central Lancashire, became a lifetime defining period for me. The skills, knowledge and networking opportunities I developed during my time with the Students' Union played a significant role in enabling me to move on to a highly fulfilling working life in management and personal development support. Clients I’ve worked with include large companies such as British Airways and British Gas plus many local authorities and charities such as the Asthma UK. I honestly believe that none of this support I’ve given would have happened had it not been for my Students' Union.” - Tony Peacock, Friends of NUS
“Students' unions have improved the lives of so many students over the years, but they have also strengthened civil society. It's not a coincidence that so many involved in students' unions, from across the political spectrum, end up with a career in helping other people."- Liam Burns, former NUS President
"Whether it be participating in clubs and societies, providing welfare support and academic representation, winning campaigns or running a social programme that creates memories that last for life students' unions continue to do remarkable things. My students' union played a vital role in developing my leadership skills. If I hadn't captained that football team that lost every game in a season I wouldn't be where I am today! I also learned so much as a student officer involved in running what are effectively social enterprises (with the safety net of brilliant paid staff supporting me). Students' unions are often overlooked for the important role they play in civil society. As well as shaping the next generation of the country's leaders, through their volunteer programmes and democratic structures they foster the active citizens of tomorrow." - Matt Hyde, former chief executive, NUS
On #LoveSUs Day last year we received a huge amount of support with students, officers and others sharing the reasons why they love students' unions. So much so that #LoveSUs was trending all day on Twitter!
Let’s make sure everyone knows the true value of what students’ unions do for all students.