Monday 23-03-2015 - 12:27
One of the main functions of NUS Scotland Conference is to discuss what policy NUS Scotland should have, and what should be taken forward. Policy passed at Conference lasts for 5 years.
Policy is split into three areas of work, Priority which considers policy relating to access, funding and student support, Education, which looks at learning, teaching and employability, and Communities which considers other issues that affect students in their lives.
Our campaigning priority for 2015/16 will focus on areas of student support, democratic and ethical institutions and teaching and learning. This will also look at securing an FE entitlement and ensuring a significant increase in college budgets. The Scottish election campaign should also look at securing summer support and funding for students out-with term time and the abolition of postgraduate fees. The campaign will also include a mass voter mobilisation campaign to ensure students are registered to vote.
Other policy areas that passed included:
- The tracking of month by month dropout rates of students to inform our widening access work.
- For NUS Scotland to lobby for further powers to be devolved to Scotland regarding welfare and benefits.
- To call for a change in legislation to allow students aged 55 and over to access student support funding.
- For the development of a national job specification for officers to win the argument on increased salaries.
- To support Who Cares Scotland to encourage every university and college to undertake Corporate Parenting training and to ensure that ambitious targets are set and met around access for care leavers to tackle the historically poor attainment by care experienced young people in education.
- To hold a governance audit and review of NUS Scotland’s structures and to ensure membership are included in this through steering groups.
- NUS Scotland LGBT campaign also brought forward policy to introduce pronouns during the registration process for NUS Scotland events.
- To work together with BUCS and SSS to tackle lad culture and to ensure student representatives from the membership are involved.
- NUS Scotland should campaign for free travel for all students and fight for the nationalisation and integration of the rail and bus network.
- NUS Scotland will support UK Kurdish groups solidarity efforts and the international Kurdish and to call on the international community to recognise the Kurdish resistance and gain support.
- NUS Scotland should call for SCQF levels of each year of HE education to be standardised and that a remodelling of HNC/D to ensure it provides enough credits to enable articulation into university.
- NUS Scotland should work with college students’ associations to improve articulation pathways to ensure that a lack of SCQF credits is never a barrier to students meeting their full potential.
- Stirling Union are holding an accessing higher education conference in April and called on NUS Scotland to support further development the conference for future years.
- NUS Scotland should stand against any form of privatisation in education provision and to ensure that where students are studying courses run by external organisations that they are covered by same standards of policies and support offered to all other students at university.
- NUS Scotland should continue to increase representation and a national voice for apprentices by supporting the National Society of Apprentices Scotland and support students’ associations to represent apprentices.
- Graduate schemes in local authorities should be opened up to those over 25 and open to all graduates in their first two years of graduating. NUS Scotland should oppose any sort of graduate scheme, job scheme or apprenticeship which holds an age restriction. NUS Scotland should also encourage graduate schemes for college graduates and former apprentices.
- For the VP Education to work with NUS Scotland LGBT campaign to campaign for the Scottish Government to introduce further legislation around sex and relationship education.
- For NUS Scotland to research to establish the needs of offender’s in terms of their learning experience.
- To combat any move by colleges to remove or transfer course provision from one college/campus to another if this is to the detriment of student access.
An emergency motion was brought forward to NUS Scotland Conference which passed, meaning that NUS Scotland will back Glasgow Clyde College Students’ Association in it’s no confidence of the chair.
Delegates had the opportunity to discuss policy that had existed for 5 years and was due to lapse at NUS Scotland Conference 2015. Policy relating to NUS Scotland integrating international student issues in its work was retained.
What happens next: NUS Scotland policy cycle
The policy passed at NUS Scotland Conference 2015 will last for 5 years and will be added to existing policy that NUS Scotland holds. Manifesto pledges, as well as policy that has been passed will be used to bring together a plan of work for 2015-16 which will outline the work that NUS Scotland will take forward for the year. This will be voted upon at NUS Scotland’s Gathering event which is held in August 2015.