Monday 21-03-2016 - 16:39
Thanks to everyone who came along to #NUSScot16 and made it such a success. If you didn't make it along, a round-up is below.
NUS Scotland President Vonnie Sandlan opened #NUSScot16, highlighting achievements made over the past year including progress on widening access. Vonnie said the publication of the Commission on Widening Access’ final report published this week is an important indicator of work still to be done. Vonnie – a member of the Commission – explained the report gives a clear set of recommendations to create a fairer education system.
She added: “The continued fight for fair access means we still have much more to do, and we do it with one eye to the upcoming Scottish elections.
“If we’re to truly realise our ambitions for fair access it’s vital that we ensure that the support is in place to not just get more students into education, but supports them to stay there and succeed. And that’s what our election campaign can, must and will be about.”
In the afternoon, NUS Scotland’s Scottish Parliament elections manifesto was officially launched, setting out our campaign priorities:
- Further education student support: A right to improved, locally delivered bursary support for all Further Education students.
- Higher education student support: An improved, year round approach to supporting Higher Education students, providing increased grants and a reduced reliance on debt.
- Student mental health: Improved, coordinated mental health support for students, ensuring that provision is linked up across NHS board areas and institutions.
Day 1 also saw Vonnie re-elected as NUS Scotland President and Rob Henthorn re-elected as VP Education.
Following her re-election, Vonnie said: “It’s a huge honour to have been re-elected NUS Scotland President. We’ve had some incredible wins over the past year, from postgraduate student support to widening access, and I’m looking forward to building on this over the next 12 months.”
Rob said: “Ecstatic to have been re-elected NUS Scotland’s VP Education alongside President Vonnie. Thank you conference.”
The first day of conference saw great debates on a number of motions, covering everything from the procedures around officer selection, to postgraduate finance, apprenticeships, supporting transnational students and student carers. An update on the amendments passed will be available soon – and you can catch up on the @NUSScotland Twitter.
Saturday at conference kicked off with the election of the new VP Communities. Jack Douglas and Conor Marshall stood for election and Conor won the vote.
Following his election, Conor said: “It’s a huge honour to be elected as Vice President Communities.
"As someone relatively new to the movement, I hope I can bring a new perspective to the work we do over the next year. I look forward to working with Vonnie, Rob, and students across Scotland to tackle some of the big issues facing our communities over the next year."
The elections for SEC also took place with Heather Armstrong, Heidi Vistisen, Abigail Banner, Lisa Kinnaird, Aleksandra Koziol, Jeroen van Herk, Luke Humberstone, Lewis Macleod, Rojan Kumar Subramani all standing for election. The results will be announced at a later date.
Further motions were heard on subjects including NUS society of the year, creative arts and the EU referendum.
The afternoon session saw the election for NUS Scotland’s Asylum and Refugee take place. Lord Elias Mensah Apetsi was elected unopposed – however, Lord was unable to attend conference. We later found out this was due to him being detained by the Home Office and facing deportation. We have since campaigned to have the decision overturned, holding demos in Edinburgh and London. To find out more, head over to our Twitter @NUSScotland and look out for the #SaveLord hashtag.
The elections for Scottish Procedures Committee were held at the end of day two, with Kirsty Anderson, Lani Baird, John Dare, John Hein, Ashley Hickford, Aleksandra Kozoil, and Audrey Opdycke-Barnes all standing for election. The results for these elections will also be announced at a later date.