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NUS urges student involvement in 2011 census

Wednesday 26-01-2011 - 00:00

As the 2011 Census approaches, NUS President Aaron Porter has urged students across England and Wales to get involved.  In an email to student union officers, he called for representatives to take part in activities organised by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), who run the census, on campuses and online. 

In his email, he said:

“The NUS is in full support of the 2011 Census.  As a campaigning organisation with tens of thousands of members across the country, we understand the importance of ensuring that everyone is given fair and accurate representation.

“This is a chance for students to help shape their local communities and therefore needs the backing of all students.”

Students from more than forty universities have already signed up to be part of the census campaign by forming part of an on-campus Census Team, making the census part of their course, or backing the campaign officially through their students' union.

These activities will reach their peak during February and March 2011, with the ONS running three competitions specifically for students and young people in England and Wales.  These are:

  • Census Snapshot, a challenge to represent as much of your university (and its people!) in one photo as possible,

·                     Identity, a competition to capture the identity of the nation in any mixture of words, images, video and sound

·                     Origami Masterclasses, a set of online videos that set young people across the country a challenge to film the creation of their own origami masterpieces – tying into the theme of the advertising around the 2011 Census

Glen Watson, 2011 Census Director, welcomed the NUS endorsement:

“We are extremely pleased to have the NUS fully on board for the 2011 Census.  We hope that students will get involved and spread the word, whether that is through taking part in competitions, joining one of our census teams or building the census into their course.

It’s a simple message, but an important one.  By completing the census questionnaire at their term time address before they leave for the Easter holidays, students can make a huge difference to how public services are planned and delivered across the nation.”

Aaron Porter, NUS president, said:

“The NUS is in full support of the 2011 Census. As a campaigning organisation with tens of thousands of members across the country, we understand the importance of ensuring that everyone is given fair and accurate representation.

"Census results are used to plan vital services like hospitals, housing, transport and emergency services. With this year marking the largest population of students there has ever been, it’s crucial that students complete and return the census questionnaire so that the important decisions that affect them are focused on accurate and relevant details.

"The census represents an important way for students to have their say in shaping their local and university communities and therefore needs the backing of all students.”

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