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Malia’s Diary: General Election - registration drive is ON!

Thursday 20-04-2017 - 14:20

This week I've been gearing up for the snap General Election student voter registration drive and ensuring that our HE Bill amends are kept in after its imminent return to the House of Commons. I’m also proud to launch our partnership with iStreetWatch, an online tool to tackle hate crime on campus!

 

General Election announced – registration drive is ON!

On Tuesday the government announced a snap General Election for Thursday 8 June. NUS is working to ensure that students register to votes and have their voices heard. I have also been in contact with Bite the Ballot to discuss coordinating voter registration information for students in the lead up to election. In the meantime we have updated our General Election Guide which you can download here, please read my statement here.

 

This evening I’ll be at a Stop Trump organising meeting. Despite the announcement of the General Election we have to push ahead with mobilising Britain against Trump! This council meeting is vital in helping us to unite campaigners and supporters from across the country, from various different backgrounds and organisations.

 

The HE Bill is making a comeback – we must keep our amends

The HE Bill will almost certainly return to the House of Commons next week. This means we have just a few days to secure the vital changes that we have won over the last few months. I am urging you to encourage your students to contact their MPs ahead of the debate and ask them to keep the amendments that we won in the House of Lords. Full information on the amendments and the different ways you can lobby your MP is available here.

NUS also held an event in Parliament to raise the findings of our recent research into international students with MPs. Hosted by Paul Blomfield MP, the event drew a cross-party attendance and united students, the sector and Parliamentarians in calling for international students to be welcomed and their rights to be protected. The event was especially timely the day after the General Election announcement - which will be fought against the backdrop of Brexit and the ongoing immigration debate - and in the week before we expect the Higher Education and Research Bill to conclude, with a crucial vote on removing international students from net migration targets. You can call on your MP to support this amendment - and the others we have won so far in the Bill here.

On Monday, NUS submitted a response to the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The Industrial Strategy is part of the Government’s plan for post-Brexit Britain and it focuses on infrastructure and growth. It also included a section on ‘Developing Skills’, which details the new system of technical education proposed in the Post-16 skills plan. NUS welcomes the focus in the strategy on developing skills and the further education sector. However there are a whole range of concerns with what the Government are planning that needs to be addressed so the strategy works for FE learners. Please read Shakira’s blog and our full response here.

 

Proudly launching our partnership to tackle hate crime on campus
 
Today I’m proud to launch our partnership with iStreetWatch, a new online tool for you to report and monitor racist and xenophobic harassment on your campuses and in the wider community. This collaboration is vital part in our movement’s fight against racism, intolerance and discrimination: allowing us to make these incidents that often pass unnoticed visible to a wider audience; help you and people who may be at risk know what is going on in your local area and campaign against it; and collect data to lobby your institutions for more stringent policies to tackle hate crime. Find out more about iStreetWatch here
 
Last Saturday I was invited to discuss antiracist organising, hip hop (and much more!) on Ash Sarkar’s YouTube channel:#OMFGSarkar. You can playback the interview below 👇

This weekend I’ll be speaking at Youth Take Back Control: Tower Hamlets on ‘Why are we still talking about race?’ Plus I’ll be attending the Losing My Religion Conference - hearing from Nouman Ali Khan, Omar Suleiman, Yasir Qadhi, Abu Eesa, Tariq Ramadan, Shenaz Bunglawala and Maryam Amir, about the challenges of Muslim identity in the current climate. Please check next week’s blog for an event debrief!

 

In respect, peace and solidarity,

Malia Bouattia
NUS National President

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