Friday 17-02-2017 - 00:00
This week I’ve been continuing with my priority campaign to liberate education across the country, meeting with key people to support and champion international student issues as well as reviewing the way NUS works internally. Here’s a snapshot of my diary last week…
Liber8-ing education across the nation!
Last week I took a trip to the University of Suffolk to discuss the NSS boycott campaign at an event organised by the students' union.
Plus, I had a meeting about Liberating the Curriculum, discussing the West Midlands regional network event and establishing a national network to support these campaigns and activists.
I also spoke on the closing - 'How we should respond to Brexit?' - panel alongside Sally Hunt (UCU general secretary), Melissa Benn (author) and Steve Richards (political commentator), on the alternative vision for education. Take a look here.
Standing with international students
On the weekend I spoke at UCU’s national conference from 'Education-Cradle to Grave' on the launch of the Refugee action booklet, about why, no more than ever it is necessary to support and provide sanctuaries for international students, staff and migrants across society.
I’m pleased to be planning the NUS Scotland's Refugee Student Summit with NUS Scotland's Refugees and Asylum Seeker's Officer Lord Apetsi and The University of Strathclyde Students' Association - with the intention of organising another in London soon before the summer!
In a meeting with NUS International Students' officer Mostafa Rajaai, we discussed campaigning work in support of unaccompanied migrant children. This followed the disgraceful government announcement last week, confirming that they are closing the child migrant scheme agreed under the Dubbs Amendment.
We also met with Dunkirk Legal Support Group who provides support in the Dunkirk refugee camp. They are appealing for fund to help bring Dunkirk’s forgotten children to safety. Alongside this NUS will be launching new materials around a “Right to Live, Right to Learn” campaign.
On Monday we’ll be coming together for ‘One Day Without Us’, a day of action to celebrate the contribution of migrants and fight against the never ending anti-immigrant policies of our government. Find out more here. Read Daniel Nasr's blog: One Day Without Us: when parliament debates, we must speak up.
I met with Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) victims, who were accused of cheating in an English language test. They were not even given the right to defend; their right to work, study, rent and live a dignified life - this was taken away from them with very little, if any, evidence. Detained and deported, their reputations ruined. These devastating cases should be an eye opener for us; in times of hateful and ideological policies which target the vulnerable, we need to remain a fighting force on each and every campus.
Reviewing the way we work
I participated in a project meeting to discuss progress on Institutional Racism review. This week the second in our series of training on racial justice was piloted and we will be writing to every student union with a progress report and ideas about how we take action locally as well as nationally.
After extensive research, analysis, consultation and debate, at the end of January, the Task Group agreed a core set of new ideas to strengthen our democracy, and made its recommendations to our Democratic Procedures Committee (DPC). DPC have now drafted a motion to propose these ideas to conference. Read the motion and submit amendments here.
Events on the horizon…
- The national Trump, Brexit and Beyond: Building Bridges, not walls summit is coming up soon (12 March), join on Facebook and find out more here.
- Another event to look out for is the International Women's Day after international call to action. More details on the way!
- Don’t forget it’s your last chance to register for the LGBT+ Students Conference in Sheffield in March. Registration closes at 12 noon next Tuesday 21 February. Additionally, Registration for the Trans Students’ Conference in March also closes at 12 noon next Tuesday 21 February.
- Skipping back to a past event… Shout out to Queen Mary's Students Union where I met with students on campus, to find out more about our Alcohol Impact Support Day last week.
In respect, peace and solidarity,
NUS National President