Thursday 10-03-2016 - 16:09
Day one of NUS Wales Conference 2016 was held at Principality Stadium in Cardiff. Over 100 delegates from universities and colleges across Wales met to discuss the future of education in Wales as well as to elect a new President and Deputy President.
NUS Wales President, Beth Button, opened the event by speaking about her time in office and the key achievements of the student movement in Wales acknowledging much of what her predecessors fought for are no longer automatically assured. Beth called for a continued effort to maintain and properly fund post-16 and flexible education, both FE and HE, valuing vocational learning as much as academic learning.
Beth and Deputy President, Ebbi delivered their reports to conference about the work that they had been doing, including their involvement with several organisations including the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol, the National Assembly and their sustained input into Wales the Higher Education Funding Review for Wales. Both reports were passed by conference.
Liberation Officers delivered reports to conference on the work of their campaigns, although not accountable to the conference. These were Rosie Inman (Women’s Officer), Akosua Darko (Black Student’s Officer), Sarah Lynn and Carly Stewart (LGBT+ Officers) and Siôn Davies (Welsh Language Officer).
The Welsh Assembly Outreach and Engagement team then led a workshop on youth engagement which stressed the importance of the student vote during the upcoming Welsh Assembly Elections which will be held on the 5th May 2016.
Hustings and elections were then held for the position of NUS Wales Deputy President, NUS Wales President, NUS Wales Democratic Procedures Committee and NUS UK National Executive Council 2nd Place Wales.
Carmen Ria Smith and Mark Stanley both delivered a speech, outlining their priorities and why they should be elected as NUS Wales Deputy President, and also took questions from the panel.
Fflur Elin also took to the stage, as the candidate for NUS Wales President and also took questions from the panel.
The keynote speaker was Kenny Imafidon of Bite the Ballot, who delivered a speech on his personal experiences, growing up as a black male from a deprived area in London. He spoke about why young people should engage in politics and resonated well with the audience.
The elections were then announced and the winners were as follows
- NUS Wales Deputy President: Carmen Ria Smith
- NUS Wales President: Fflur Elin
- NUS UK National Executive Council 2nd Place Wales: Ruth Davage
If you want to follow all of the action and see what went on, please follow #NUSW16 / #UCMC16 on Twitter.
Also, click here for an audio snapshot of what happened over the two days, from delegates across Further Education and Higher Education institutions across Wales.