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Zone Conference 2016: Candidates for Higher Education Zone Committee

Tuesday 25-10-2016 - 22:34

Nominations have now closed for Higher Education Zone Committee. Elections will take place at Zone Conference on Thursday 26 October at 11.15am.  

The deadline to challenge nominations is 9am on Tuesday 26 October. Challenges should be sent to governanceteam@nus.org.uk.
 

Higher Education Zone Representative on the NEC

As members of the National Executive Council, the Higher Education Zone Representative will have the role of representing and supporting the Zone and reviewing the work of the Vice-president of that zone.

(one position avaliable)
 

Adeyinka Adebayo

University of Salford Students Union
Nominated by: Grace Anderson, Anglia Ruskin

i want to serve i understand what tef is about and what nss is about and i am a sabatical officer and i have experience

Theodore Antoniou-Phillips

UEA Students Union
Nominated by: Luca Raimo, Manchester Metropolitan University Union

I was lucky enough to be brought up in a household that understood the value of education. Both my parents are teachers. 

In particular my mum, an immigrant from Cyprus who grew up in Willesden in London with all the other ‘greasy Greeks’ as the local kids called her, knew that it was education that helped her and our family into economic stability. 

We all know that education is liberating, and my family are all too aware of its power.

But for me and my identity, I was also unlucky to live part-way through section 28. 

It was actually illegal for my primary school teachers to talk about LGBT+ identities. 

Even after section 28 was abolished, my secondary school kept up their own section 28 policy, and the identities of LGBT+ people were silenced. 

Now I find myself as a Sabbatical Officer in an SU and I’m busy using the influence and power I have to make sure that education is as powerful and liberating for students as possible.

So there’s three things I want our Higher Education Zone to help.

The first is about supporting us with our committee work. I go to meeting after meeting where big contemporary HE issues are discussed but I’m not always clear on the background or implications for students. 

Knowledge is power and too much of it is held in London.

So I’ll push for NUS to release weekly briefings on the major HE issues so we’re empowered to argue for students locally.

The second is about supporting us to win. Last night I spoke to loads of you about the wins you’ve been having, like getting printer credit or online marking or extended Library facilities or improvements to contact time. 

But we never hear about those wins from NUS.

So I’ll argue for direct support from NUS to win on manifestoes, building a national resource bank of tactics and arguments that we’ve all used to make change.

And the final one is about Liberating the Curriculum. Loads of us want to achieve this but too often the resources from NUS focus on the Humanities. 

So I’ll make sure that NUS offers direct support to education and liberation officers working with academics and managers in Universities to achieve real Liberation change in the curriculum.

So for more wins, better knowledge and a Liberated curriculum Vote Theo Antoniou Phillips #1 for Zone Committee

Dave Cocozza

Kent Union
Nominated by: Meg Robinson, Leeds Beckett

To my fellow sabbs, officers and HE delegates,
Four years ago I left my job in London to study film at University, and without a doubt it’s been an amazing, transformative experience and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to stand here today as my journey hasn’t been an easy one; something I hope I can help change for current and future students if you elect me to the NEC and HE Zone Committee.

The biggest reforms of HE for a decade are just around the corner, and not only do we have the implications of Brexit and the demise of the Great British Bake Off to consider but our fellow students will now be burdened with fees rising to above £10,000 in the next few years. The TEF is being steamrolled in despite opposition by the majority of academics and us in this room, and the Office for Students which feels like it’s going to be more of an Office AGAINST students! Now, more than ever, NEC needs to have a strong voice that will challenge the marketization, the rhetoric and the anti-student policies that the Tory government will throw our way over the next few years.

As a HE Zone member, I promise to listen to every Union about their concerns and hold the NUS leadership to account on issues that student unions are passionate about. We’re a National Union of Students, not a National Union of SOME Students. 

If your union decides to boycott the NSS, then I will listen to you and help. If your union decides against it, I’ll listen to you and help you was well. We need a HE Committee that’s diverse and showcases a range of opinions, and we can’t just put our fingers in our ears if we disagree with it.

So, if you want humour, effective representation and a nice guy; then vote for me!

Mark Crawford

University College London Union

Nominated by: Hope Warsdale, University of Warwick SU

Hi! I’m the Postgrad Officer at UCL Union. At a time when our higher education is so universally under attack, NUS needs to be a bold, campaigning organisation; we need to fight for the restoration of maintenance grants as a basic right for all, and for a higher education system that doesn’t oppress students with a lifetime of debt but is fully free and open to all. Any viable tactic that can defeat the government’s higher education reforms has to be fully supported, whether that’s pushing universities to opt out of the Teaching Excellence Framework or organising an effective, nationwide boycott of the National Student Survey. 

At UCL, I’ve also devoted considerable time to organising our postgraduate teaching assistant workforce to protect academic staff from casualised contracts; but research students need to be mobilised across the entire country, and I’ll support and share the ideas and resources to do this. Ultimately, postgraduate and undergraduate demands are united; we need a powerful national union to protect our higher education institutions to centres that reward the willingness to learn over the ability to pay. Vote for me for free education and for a fighting NUS!

Nick Dearman

Lancaster University Students Union
Nominated by: Joshua Guljarani, University of Essex Students Union

Hello, my name is Nick and I am VP Education at Lancaster University. So I'm just going be be really honest about why I'm running. I feel the NUS currently doesn't do a great job of representing the opinion of its whole membership, and sometimes it feels like the NUS is representing one particular viewpoint instead of engaging all its members. 

I'm sure I'm not the only sabb to say this and I won't be the last. However I am a strong believer that people who don't feel represented by the NUS shouldn't turn their head away from the organisation but work to transform and improve it.

The core mantra of the NUS is collectivism and with collectivism comes a need for a variety of opinion and if I was elected to HE Zone Commitee, I think I would offer that variety that the HE Committee needs. 

So thank you very much for reading this, I hope you vote for me and I hope you've had a nice conference.

Adam Kearns

University of Bath Students Union
Nominted by: Laura Ho, University of Bristol Students Union

Since beginning my term as Postgraduate Officer at Bath SU I have continually drawn on NUS resources to inform and advance my work. I view higher education as a social good of inestimable value, and the NUS plays a vital role in representing the students and union officers at its heart. Working with the organisation to help deliver continued support and change would complete my Officer experience. 

I passionately believe that postgraduates need more attention from Students’ Union as a key cohort within the HE community. The purpose of my standing for Zones Committee is to bring a postgraduate voice to the HE debating table and ensure that the group is adequately represented and heard. Whilst postgrad numbers within the sector are rising sharply, only around a dozen SU’s have postgraduate officers and many others are under-prepared for the future increase in cohort size. Therefore I would seek to provide assistance and support to these organisations, helping them transition toward a more holistic student provision. 

As an individual I bring teamwork, passion, dedication and resilience, and can be relied upon to deliver what I promise. In the last four and a half months as Postgraduate Officer, I have driven numerous changes for the student population including work on the training and support provided to graduate teaching assistants; strengthening ties with UCU to jointly campaign around research student issues; seeking to tackle mental ill-health among postgrads through courses and campaigns; organizing events and induction for new students to help lessen postgraduate isolation, and; I have worked with University staff to improve student spaces. 

If elected to HE Zones Committee I will work to ensure that Students’ Unions are supported in fighting for a fair deal for graduate teaching assistants, lobby for NUS research into postgraduate engagement and participation best-practice, campaign for an NUS awareness drive around student mental ill-health, and work with NUS to create an advice document for Students’ Unions introducing a postgraduate officer role into their structure. 

I will also hold the Vice President (Higher Education) to account by thoroughly scrutinizing their work and ensuring that NUS acts in the interests of its membership, whether by supporting Students’ Unions or challenging the government where necessary. Ultimately the NUS is here for all students and should remain true to its mission of providing students and students’ unions with a collective voice that articulates the needs and aspirations of its members to relevant bodies

Manish Khatari

Napier University Students' Union

Nominated by: Patrick Garratt, University of Edinburgh Students' Union

My name is Manish Khatri and I am a vice President for representative in volunteering in Napier University, Edinburgh. 

The reason why I applied for this higher education comittee member is due to the fact that the decision made based on overall Higher education is extremely crucial in Scotland. Every time there is a matter arising, we are repeatedly told by union and university- it’s the problem in south as most people in here doesn’t pay fees there and then we have to face Teff out of the blue. 

Sometimes university can look like government, where they pretty much control what we say, how we say things. As a VP, I have always acted on behalf of students and spoken for them at all times when needed. When sometime tells me- I always think of what does rest feel and if majorities voices i.e student in most cases are true – I find a way out of solution by using each resources and ideas that students bring to table.

We have a history of blaming government in everything that goes wrong. Sometimes, we fail to realise what impact university has in making that effect. 
They can be seen as a organization running business. I have continuously had debated with university and won many arguments but when it comes to finance, thy never seem to back out. They never seem to make any loss even though it benefits overall education.
This leads to students being extremely dissatisfied .
What kind of life skills are you giving to students attending further education, what kind of connection does university have, whether we just went to university just to be middle class? What about students that drop out of university and doing their second degree ?What can be done so students are not leaving university with only a degree is always my concern. We have to ensure everyone is treated equally regardless the country they are from and the university that they attended at all times.

What are we taught and how we are taught is extremely important at all times
Although changes take time, what can be done to ensure you are making right changes.
Students attending higher education should be taught how to be challenged, how to defend and take critical platforms, how to confronting ideologist, how to talk to various audiences.

It often leaves with question and ideas on ways we can tailor on HE, propose and negotiate we can make as one to both university and union and protest if needs to be.

I have always stood for students as someone who will graduate next week on engineering for computing. I have suffered the similar problems that higher education student face and worked as Campus officer last year and as vice president for reps and volunteers.
Hence, why, I think I could be an ideal candidate as I will attend meetings/ provide collective feedbacks and come with ideas that could benefit overall HE experience for students.

Jelili Mustapha

University of Salfard Students Union
Nominated by: Obinna Abraham, University of Salford

I am Jelili Mustapha, a MSc degree holder in Environmental and Public Health. Professionally, I am a Biomedical Scientist and currently the Science and Technology Officer of the University of Salford Students' Union, Greater Manchester.

Our education sector is being attacked by the government, commercializing our fundamental human right and making it difficult for us to achieve our future aspiration. Different policies and bills have been proposed by the government aimed at making education less accessible to everyone, especially in the wake of BREXIT when many current and future students do not feel welcome in the UK. International students do not fancy UK as education destination anymore due to the government nasty policies against them. TEF is another nightmare for Home undergraduate student population. 

Fellow comrades, we must not allow politicians to continuously toy with our future. There is need for us to galvanize effort in ensuring that the government listen to our yearnings. We need a strong HE Zone committee that will formulate policies aimed at upstaging government approaches to the marketization of our education sector. To achieve these, we need people who are passionate and dedicated to work closely with different stakeholders in the community, nationally and internationally. 

I believe I've got what it takes to be an HE zone committee member. I have the zeal, ability, dedication and passion. I am ready to work closely with FTOs and zones in ensuring that we get what rightfully belong to us. I will ensure that the VPHE deliver her mandate by supporting, scrutinizing and criticizing her constructively. A vote for me is a vote of trust, a vote of mandate and a vote for the realization of education for all.

Vote Jelili Mustapha as your HE Zone committee member and we will get to where we want to be.

 

Danny Nasr 

Goldsmiths SU 
​Nominated by: Niall Hamilton, Reading SU

Hey I'm Danny Nasr and standing for HE NEC place. I was first elected as Education officer at Goldsmiths SU, but later became acting President, as well as a world first education-welfare- diversity- campaigns- and activities officer. I had to rebuild my union from the ground up, and rooted it in fighting for a strong, liberated, inclusive and proactive education system. Being an international student, I understand the issues and barriers put up against us in HE. I aim to put the interests of these students at the heart of the HE zones, providing intersectional representation for all our members. As president this year, I've worked with my education officer to ensure that our strategy this year is reflective of the ever changing and volatile nature of HE at present day, formulating a strong and proactive opposition to the TEF and the increasing privatised nature of our education system.

Karl Robson

Northumbria Students Union
Nominated by: Danielle Etheridge, Northumbria Students Union

A lay student councillor at Northumbria Students' Union, a few reasons you should vote me for HE Zone committee are;

Experience in policy creation for last 4 years within Students' Unions.

I've attended 3 national and 2 zone conferences so I'm aware how things work, and what can be improved!

Current Deputy chair of Northumbria students council, Treasurer of two societies. 

Committed to holding officers to account and developing our priorities to meet standards and make the largest impact possible. 

Not to mention I'm a huge fan of democracy and a pretty all round nice guy. 

#vote Karl
#voteniceguy

Grace Suszek

University of Derby Students' Union

Nominated by: Augustus Mbanasor, De Montfort Students' Union

My name is Grace Suszek. I am currently the President of the University of Derby Students' Union and I am running for the position of HE Zones Committee NEC place.

UDSU are currently taking action against the TEF and engaging students with the National Demo that is taking place in November. My belief lies firmly between activism and pragmatism. I fully believe in trying to gain a seat around a table with the people who are trying to enforce these policies upon us. However, when that door is closed to us, I feel that we have no choice but to enlist activism. Our collective voice has the power to deafen. We cannot stop the TEF coming, but we can fight to ensure our students are given the best deal possible.

NUS' motion 201 was passed this summer and recently there have been unions voicing concerns about the impact of this. They have called for the NSS boycott to be postponed until an equality impact assessment can be carried out. Fifty-one Student Unions from across the country have now added their names to this and this outcry can not go ignored. If elected, I would work to ensure that all unions feel their voices are being given a fair hearing in policy and decision making.

It is a difficult time in education, and there has been a lot of contention surrounding HE - from the way we deal with damaging policy to the attacks we are receiving as a sector. I feel that I could add value to discussions NUS hold around HE. I am not afraid to hold the NUS officer to account, neither am I afraid to fight for the students we represent.
 

Re open nominations (RON)

 

 

 


Higher Education Zone Committee

Zone committee members are responsible for ensuring the development of policy to guide the zone’s priorities for the year ahead, as well as analysing the work of the relevant elected officer (the Vice President), ensuring that the zone delivers on the areas of work that have been highlighted as priorities for the year ahead.

(eight positions avaliable)
 

Adeyinka Adebayo

University of Salford Students Union
Nominated by: Grace Anderson, Anglia Ruskin

i want to serve i understand what tef is about and what nss is about and i am a sabatical officer and i have experience

Grace Anderson

ARU Students Union
Nominated by: Augustus Mbanasor, De Montford University

I'm Grace, Education Officer at ARU Students Union.

Theodore Antoniou-Phillips

UEA Stududents Union
Nominated by: Luca Raimo, Manchester Metropolitan University Union

I was lucky enough to be brought up in a household that understood the value of education. Both my parents are teachers. 

In particular my mum, an immigrant from Cyprus who grew up in Willesden in London with all the other ‘greasy Greeks’ as the local kids called her, knew that it was education that helped her and our family into economic stability. 

We all know that education is liberating, and my family are all too aware of its power.

But for me and my identity, I was also unlucky to live part-way through section 28. 

It was actually illegal for my primary school teachers to talk about LGBT+ identities. 

Even after section 28 was abolished, my secondary school kept up their own section 28 policy, and the identities of LGBT+ people were silenced. 

Now I find myself as a Sabbatical Officer in an SU and I’m busy using the influence and power I have to make sure that education is as powerful and liberating for students as possible.

So there’s three things I want our Higher Education Zone to help.

The first is about supporting us with our committee work. I go to meeting after meeting where big contemporary HE issues are discussed but I’m not always clear on the background or implications for students. 

Knowledge is power and too much of it is held in London.

So I’ll push for NUS to release weekly briefings on the major HE issues so we’re empowered to argue for students locally.

The second is about supporting us to win. Last night I spoke to loads of you about the wins you’ve been having, like getting printer credit or online marking or extended Library facilities or improvements to contact time. 

But we never hear about those wins from NUS.

So I’ll argue for direct support from NUS to win on manifestoes, building a national resource bank of tactics and arguments that we’ve all used to make change.

And the final one is about Liberating the Curriculum. Loads of us want to achieve this but too often the resources from NUS focus on the Humanities. 

So I’ll make sure that NUS offers direct support to education and liberation officers working with academics and managers in Universities to achieve real Liberation change in the curriculum.

So for more wins, better knowledge and a Liberated curriculum Vote Theo Antoniou Phillips #1 for Zone Committee

Eireann Attridge

Cambridge University Students Union
Nominated by: Eden Bailey, Oxford University Students Union

Eden Bailey

Oxford University Students' Union
Nominator:  Ali Day, University of Sheffield Students' Union

Higher Education is currently facing the most monumental changes in decades. Not only do policies proposed by the HE Bill threaten the education and welfare of current students, but decisions made over the next year have the potential to fundamentally alter the fabric of Higher Education in the UK. 

At this critical juncture, we need committee members who are committed to tackling damaging government policies that threaten to destroy fair access to education rather than fighting within the movement. We need to be breaking down the already existent barriers to education and the student movement, rather than building them up. Our national policy should be driven by this outward-looking, forward-facing vision, which considers the needs of all students, and in particular provides support for the most marginalised and oppressed. It is time to act and support students campaigning against structures embedded in their institutions which foster cultures of racism, sexism, ableism, queerphobia, and much more.

I am running for HE Zones Committee because I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure that high quality education is accessible to all. I believe that education is a right, not a privilege. I am determined to do what I can to ensure that every student can access a good education regardless of background, identity, or circumstance. Above all, I refuse to stand by whilst the government further efforts to restrict higher education to being the preserve of the wealthy.

Now more than ever, we need a strong, united, and inclusive student movement that is working to protect students now, and defend access to education for those in years to come. Please vote for me for the HE Zones Committee if you support this vision.

Natasha Barrett

Royal Holloway Students' Union
Nominated by: Laura Lewis, Royal Holloway Students Union

I’m Tasha and I’m currently President, Education and Campaigns at Royal Holloway Students’ Union. I’ve been involved in student politics for the last four years, including various NUS projects that have been implemented at Royal Holloway (for example the I Heart Consent Campaign). So now I’d really love to give something back and act as a representative for the HE Zone Committee. 

My involvement in the student movement has taught me a huge amount and with a background as Feminist Society President and Women’s Officer at my university, I’m particularly involved in the importance of liberation. Spending this year as President of a Students’ Union with specific focus on education is already allowing me to combine my knowledge of prejudice experienced by student groups with my enthusiasm for shaping the learning experience. For this reason one of my main objectives for the year is to instigate a strong and sustainable initiative for liberating our curriculum at Royal Holloway similar to the campaign run at King’s last year. I feel that its valuable that this objective is so closely aligned with NUS objectives in addition to various other closely related projects. 

Recently I have been doing work with the university around TEF and the HE Bill. Various committees at the college have been discussing the implications of Brexit and TEF on higher education and as Sabbatical Officers our job has been to promote the student perspective and push for reconsideration of circumstances. I have avidly kept up with all information released on the new HE Bill due to my fears of the damage it could cause; I am keen to do everything I can to stand against this marketization and invalidation of higher education and offer support to students nationally in the face of this ignorance. 

Royal Holloway, being quite removed from London and fairly isolated in rural Surrey, is not overly politically engaged, but certain groups of our students work hard on campaigns. Recently we had fascists protesting outside of our campus and seventy of our students turned out to form a counter demo, making sure this group knew they were not welcome to intimidate minorities on our grounds. I was massively proud to see how much our students care about issues like these and I think a strong connection with the NUS would benefit these students. As a member of zone committee I would be able to add value on behalf of these students whilst also perusing my own interests and serving the passions of the national student movement.

We have also been rallying our student body for the National Demo on November 19th and I’m keen to encourage students to engage with the current political climate and how it affects them. I know that this is what the NUS stand for – lifting the voice of students in response to political decisions and changes in society. This is what I’m really passionate about and I am really desperate to be as much a part of that as possible.

Aleem Basir

University Bradford Union of Students
Nominated by: Salasa is Al-siri, University of Westminster


Hi, My name is Aleem Bashir i am the Academic Affairs Officer at the University of Bradford Union of Students. I am a second year Sabbatical Officer previously being the Union Affairs Officer. 

I have worked tirelessly engaging students within my union while being elected. The importance of getting the student voice from the grassroots is of particular importance to me at my first General Meeting as Union Affairs Officer i had 363 students in attendance, debating policy and motions and holding sabbatical Officers to account. I have aimed to give Students the ability to raise their concerns and feel comfortable debating policy and motions is a safe environment. I organised an open council to make the University of Bradford Union of Students and open and transparent Union - showing students exactly how decisions are made and if there interests are at the heart of decision making.

I campaigned hard to make sure that our Library services were improved and made sure the University responded to the Student needs at Bradford. We were successful in making sure the University library was opened 24 hours a day 360 days a year. A massive win in times where the University was cutting services and budgets were very tight.I have beeen NUS delegate in the past representing my Union at National Conference. I spoke to students beforehand and actively engaged with students, on the ground, about motions and voted in accordance to what the students at my union wanted. This is how we should operate taking a bottom up approach taking the students voice from below and acting in accordance to the student demand.

This year i have made sure that the Student Voice has was taken seriously. I have made sure that students will be treated as partners and not as Customers. I have pushed for the completion of the review of the Student charter to make sure that Students could question lecturers that weren't fulfilling their part of the bargain putting students on a level playing field in their education.

This year has been a very difficult year for Students especially with TEF threatening the inclusivity of Education. We have increasing Fees putting even more pressure on students. We have seen how studies show the higher the debt for students the higher the mental health issues the student is likely to have. We have a fight on our hands and we need Committees to have individuals that will represent students at grassroots level to be elected.

Vote for me and i will work tirelessly to engage with students unions and get the voice of students and input this into HE Policy discussions. I Will use the students voice to hold the officer to account and scrutinize where needs be. 

I have made serious change at Bradford and i want to do the same Nationally! Help me to help you! Vote for me and put the students at grassroots at the Heart of NUS HE.

Dave Cocozza

Kent Union
Nominated by: Meg Robinson, Leeds Beckett

To my fellow sabbs, officers and HE delegates,
Four years ago I left my job in London to study film at University, and without a doubt it’s been an amazing, transformative experience and I’m incredibly lucky to be able to stand here today as my journey hasn’t been an easy one; something I hope I can help change for current and future students if you elect me to the NEC and HE Zone Committee.

The biggest reforms of HE for a decade are just around the corner, and not only do we have the implications of Brexit and the demise of the Great British Bake Off to consider but our fellow students will now be burdened with fees rising to above £10,000 in the next few years. The TEF is being steamrolled in despite opposition by the majority of academics and us in this room, and the Office for Students which feels like it’s going to be more of an Office AGAINST students! Now, more than ever, NEC needs to have a strong voice that will challenge the marketization, the rhetoric and the anti-student policies that the Tory government will throw our way over the next few years.

As a HE Zone member, I promise to listen to every Union about their concerns and hold the NUS leadership to account on issues that student unions are passionate about. We’re a National Union of Students, not a National Union of SOME Students. 

If your union decides to boycott the NSS, then I will listen to you and help. If your union decides against it, I’ll listen to you and help you was well. We need a HE Committee that’s diverse and showcases a range of opinions, and we can’t just put our fingers in our ears if we disagree with it
So, if you want humour, effective representation and a nice guy; then vote for me!

Joe Cox

Middlesex Students Union
Nominated by: Rebeca Cruz, Middlesex Students' Union

According to the Wikipedia article that I read, the largest group in UK Higher Education is post-92 universities: uni's that were once polytechnics. Unfortunately, despite being such a large group in higher education, we are often left behind when it comes to NUS.

This is clear in many areas. From a policy to boycott the NSS that would hugely negatively impact post-92s, to a dearth of policy aimed at our uniquely diverse and under-represented student bodies: we are being left behind.

For many SUs at post-92s, the NSS is a lifeline that we cannot afford to lose. Firstly, it provides a way for us to run our campaigns: drawing priceless data from it to convince the university that there is a genuine student demand when we tell them that there is. Furthermore, its place feeding into the national ranking of both SUs and Universities is essential. As SUs, many of our block grants are dependent upon strong national ranking positions. As well as this, at post-92s many of our students come to our institutions to get good degrees from good universities; the value of these degrees is directly linked to the institutions place in the national ranking. To expect our students to devalue their own degrees, and by extension their own future, is wrong.

It's 2016. It's time for the NUS to move away from an outdated idea of what our membership looks like, and realise that there are hundreds of thousands of students out there, studying in New Universities, waiting for the NUS to engage them. For this reason, I ask that you vote for me for Higher Education Zone Committee to provide a strong voice for students studying at post-92 institutions, and to stand up for diverse students bodies.

Mark Crawford

University College London Union

Nominated by: Hope Warsdale, University of Warwick SU

Hi! I’m the Postgrad Officer at UCL Union. At a time when our higher education is so universally under attack, NUS needs to be a bold, campaigning organisation; we need to fight for the restoration of maintenance grants as a basic right for all, and for a higher education system that doesn’t oppress students with a lifetime of debt but is fully free and open to all. Any viable tactic that can defeat the government’s higher education reforms has to be fully supported, whether that’s pushing universities to opt out of the Teaching Excellence Framework or organising an effective, nationwide boycott of the National Student Survey. 

At UCL, I’ve also devoted considerable time to organising our postgraduate teaching assistant workforce to protect academic staff from casualised contracts; but research students need to be mobilised across the entire country, and I’ll support and share the ideas and resources to do this. Ultimately, postgraduate and undergraduate demands are united; we need a powerful national union to protect our higher education institutions to centres that reward the willingness to learn over the ability to pay. Vote for me for free education and for a fighting NUS!

Alice Anne Dalgleish

Northumbria Students Union
Nominated by: Tally Kerr, Northumbria Students Union

Alice Anne Dalgleish, Education Officer at Northumbria Students' Union. I believe i should be elected to sit on the Higher Education Zone Committee as i am aware of the current and forseeable issues regarding education which need to be addressed and campaigned against. With my knowledge and experience regarding these issues i know i can stand up and be heard on behalf of all the students. In the forthcoming months we will see the results of the TEF paper that has recently been addressed. I want to make a stand and show we are not here to let this be implemented across the UK. This is just one of the issues we are facing. Elect me and i will make sure NUS make a stand for Higher Education!

Ali Day

Sheffield Students' Union
Nominated by: Luke Renwick, Sheffield Hallam Students Union


Hi I'm Ali, the Education Officer at Sheffield Students' Union. I want to be elected to the HE Zone Committee because, like all of us here, I'm passionate about improving the lives of current and future students.

There are two main reasons why I want to be elected.

Firstly, because I think it is essential that we develop policy that can enable our movement to fight back against the onslaught and assault on HE and I think my experience will enable me to do that well. I understand the complexities of fighting the government and understand how to use a variety of channels to create change. For example, this time last year I was busy writing a submission of evidence to the BIS Select Committee inquiry into Assessing Quality in Higher Education and was successful in getting my evidence published in their report. This was just one way to influence decision makers. However, I also know how to create change within our institutions and create the conditions required for Students' Unions to do that effectively. Over the summer I developed and launched the 'Shef Better Than TEF' campaign to encourage Sheffield University to be a leading voice in the fight to scrap the Teaching Excellence Framework and its associated fee rises. Throughout this campaign I have been successful in engaging students and received over 2300 (and growing) signatures on an open letter to our Vice-Chancellor. I have also created a strong working relationship, with open communication between our University Executive and our Union, which has provided us with countless opportunities to present our case for why the University should not participate in TEF. This has given us a real voice and I believe every Students' Union should have that chance.

This leads me onto my second reason for running to be on the Zone Committee. During the campaign we have been able to facilitate conversations with our students and teachers about what it means to come to university, what the public and individual value of HE is and why it is so important we continue to foster a learning environment that is inclusive and liberated. It is crucial that these conversations continue on a larger scale across the HE sector if we really want see change in a number of areas such as; liberating the curriculum, tackling the rising mental health problems of students, as well as the all feared Teaching Excellence Framework. I want the NUS HE zone to encourage this mindset through policy. We only found out the world wasn't flat by questioning our assumptions, why should it be any different with HE?

It's time that the HE sector started asking these questions and looking at itself to create change rather than waiting for the right kinds of government reforms. I believe that the NUS has a role in pushing for that and if you agree I would appreciate your support in my election to the Zone Committee.
 

Nick Dearman

Lancaster University Students Union
Nominated by: Joshua Guljarani, University of Essex Students Union

Hello, my name is Nick and I am VP Education at Lancaster University. So I'm just going be be really honest about why I'm running. I feel the NUS currently doesn't do a great job of representing the opinion of its whole membership, and sometimes it feels like the NUS is representing one particular viewpoint instead of engaging all its members. 

I'm sure I'm not the only sabb to say this and I won't be the last. However I am a strong believer that people who don't feel represented by the NUS shouldn't turn their head away from the organisation but work to transform and improve it.

The core mantra of the NUS is collectivism and with collectivism comes a need for a variety of opinion and if I was elected to HE Zone Commitee, I think I would offer that variety that the HE Committee needs. 

So thank you very much for reading this, I hope you vote for me and I hope you've had a nice conference.

John-Paul Dickie

University of Lincoln Students Union
Nominated by: Chris Wilkinson, University of Birmingham Guild of Students

Hi, I'm John-Paul, Vice President Academic Affairs at the University of Lincoln Students' Union. The current Higher Education landscape is constantly changing with fees, the Teaching Exellence Framework and the Higher Education and Research Bill just to name a few.

NUS's role in representing higher education students and supporting officers in students' unions during this time is more important than ever. Development of NUS's HE policy in the HE Zone should be representative of the whole student movement. 

I want to help make sure that the direction that HE Zone takes is one encompassing the views of various different sides and ensuring priority campaigns are making an impact across the HE membership.

The work of Vice President Higher Education and what takes place in HE Zone is throughly important to ensure the voice of students are represented within NUS and further afield. Working with other zone committee members and NUS Officers, I will ensure the progressive engagement of the membership to inform NUS policy and the work of the HE Zone. 

NUS should continue to be a key influencer within HE policy, campaigns and initiatives and I want to proactively work to ensure that happens. This should be speaking with student unions on a regular basis, lobbying and working with key sector influencers and having regular contact with the people that matter in the zone to make sure members are getting the best from their national union.

Vote for John-Paul for HE Zone Committee member and lets work together to ensure that NUS is the voice of HE students and of the supporting all members.

Jo Goodman

Birmingham City University Students Union
Nominated by: Josh Gulrajani, University of Essex Students Union

After growing up with an alcoholic and disabled parent, my priorities as a child were putting my mom to bed and stopping her from lashing out at myself and other members of my family. I struggled with education and presumed I wouldn't achieve much in life. Through secondary school and further education, I realised the huge importance of pastoral care and the significance of staff and student partnership. My moms drinking continued and the night before my first a level exam my mom died of liver and kidney damage and I was left hopeless. I had no hope of getting into university and achieveing any of my aspirations. Luckily I scraped through on predicted grades and was accepted onto the BA hons textile design course at Birmingham city university. As a commuter student mentally affected by the death of my mom, I did not engage in university until action was taken by course leaders. Whilst battling with depression and anxiety I decided to get involved more with my union. This had an extremely beneficial affect on my engagement with education. After graduating in 2015 with my family by my side, I can honestly say education saved me.

Now as the president of BCUSU, I fight to ensure that education continues to do amazing things for students. Education is continuing to come under attack. Maintenance grants which once afforded students aspirations have been robbed from us. Widening participation is seen as a tick box exercise and I'm sick of senior academics telling me the answer to the WP agenda is lifting the cap off student numbers. It is so much more. 

As the HE zones committee we need to close the gap between HE and FE and ensure that students who are disadvantaged are progressing. We need to ensure they have the opportunity to achieve their dreams without being discriminated for being in a specific polar quintile or being a particular demographic. We also need to realise that education saves lives like it saved mine. We need to remember that education is powerful. 

I want to sit on HE zones committee to discuss the widening participation agenda and discuss the youngsters living on my road, trapped in a world of drugs, alcohol and violence who have aspirations that could be achieved if education was more inclusive and not discriminating. 

I want to sit on the NUS HE zones committee to fight for education and as a collective we need to fight harder than we ever have before. We are under attack and we can't forget how powerful education is. We can't keep quiet. 

In the words of bonnie tyler 'where have all the good men gone?' Well I am your Goodman and if you need a hero, vote Jo Goodman for HE zones committee.

Niall Hamilton

Reading SU
Nominated by: Hansika Jethnani, UAL SU

Niall Hamilton Second year Sabb at Reading University Students' Union. 

For the last year I have seen the affects marketisation has had on my students. From minority students being ignored, to support staff being slashed. We need an experienced and passionate HE zone to the challenge inequality marketisation and the the TEF will foster. 

Vote Niall number 1 education zone

Nicola Hemmings

Beds SU
Nominated by: Dave Cocozza, Kent SU

My name is Nicola Hemmings and I am the VP Education at Beds SU.I am a true believer in the student voice and have noticed the lack of mature student representation at the very forums where the student voice is needed. Hence my decision to run within my own Students Union and to now run once again to represent the mature student voice in the HE Zone Committee. I have noticed in terms of Higher Education that much of the rhetoric and marketing is aimed at the younger more 'traditional' demographic of student, are we as mature students an anomoly? It would seem to be the case, this is something that I would like to actively work to change, in order for the mature student voice to be representative of the diversity in age of the student population. We need more mature students to engage and have their voice heard, to discuss the particular issues and barriers that they face in Higher Education (e.g. Childcare and study/work/life balance). As a black female and a mother who chose to empower myself through education later in life, I would like to encourage dialogue between those who, like myself, may have felt marginalised by the education system and those in the wider student community across the country, to find out how we can work together to improve the particular issues that they face. The question I would like to ask is what do you want from me and your NUS? How can we make engagement and representation inclusive and accessible to everyone?

Ben Hunt

King's College London Students' Union
Nominated by: Rose Taylor, University of Sussex

Hi! I'm Ben from King's College London Students' Union. 
In my time at King's, I have put the needs of excluded and marginalised students at the heart of our Students' Union. 

When the Government want to implement TEF to put teachers under even more pressure to perform up to broken metrics, last year, I made College double the pay of our graduate teaching assistant students, who already deliver a top quality education, investing £500,000 in them. 
When the Government slashed the disabled students' allowance when already people are already nearly 50% unemployed and attacked their future, I have spent the last two years making our campus accessible to all students with different access needs and increasing their support.
When there is a fee increase which will price more people out of education, we have already ensured that King's does not raise fees for current students, and are pushing for them to be frozen for the next year altogether. This is because fees and marketization affects lives and fees price our students out of their future. 

Increased fees lead to less live at home students, who are mostly people of colour, from accessing education. There is also a dropping rate of mature and part time learners with increased fees, which affects many parent learners and carers amongst so many others. I will fight to pass policy through education zone recognising the struggle of these groups who are disproportionately effected due to fee changes. 

More fees will not give the mental health funding desperately needed in our institutions, and mental health is disproportionately on the rise for people of colour and already affects a huge proportion of LGBT+ students. 

TEF is an institutionally oppressive policy and fee rises put up barriers to the already marginalised. 

The fight against the teaching excellence framework, new education institutions entering HE who are prone to failure and to have international students deported if they do fail, and fee rises is a fight for the most vulnerable in our movement. At King's, I have spent the last year fighting for a vision of a liberated and accessible education. We need to be unified in this fight and represent this vision, and I hope that through the work I have done I can fight for this in national conference and take policy to conference that recognises the different strategies we need as a movement to combat the Government's fee regime, TEF and recognise the barriers that this makes the most vulnerable and oppressed students already face. 

Vote Ben #1 for zone to see the vision of a unified and liberated movement continue in education zone all the way to National Conference!

Mariya Hussain

Kings College London Students Union
Nominated by: Halima Begum, UCLSU

I am a working class, BME, woman and the first in my family to attend university. I know how difficult education can be in so many ways. From financial pressures, lack of academic support and issues around BME attainment and student experience, I've faced it all. My experience and the experiences of those around me encouraged me to run to be an education officer at my students' union; I ran to help make education truly accessible for all.

In my position as an education officer at KCLSU I have been working on and supporting campaigns around BME student experience, improving resources and widening access to financial support for incoming students and those who wish to continue with their studies at King's amongst other things. I am working to change the way the university thinks and how that impacts the policies they implement and the work they do. 

I want to bring my desire to help make education accessible to all to the table as part of HE zone committee. I have experience, I am full of dedication and I'm ready to be part of making a big difference!

 

Manish Khatari

Napier University Students' Union

Nominated by: Patrick Garratt, University of Edinburgh Students' Union

My name is Manish Khatri and I am a vice President for representative in volunteering in Napier University, Edinburgh. 

The reason why I applied for this higher education comittee member is due to the fact that the decision made based on overall Higher education is extremely crucial in Scotland. Every time there is a matter arising, we are repeatedly told by union and university- it’s the problem in south as most people in here doesn’t pay fees there and then we have to face Teff out of the blue. 

Sometimes university can look like government, where they pretty much control what we say, how we say things. As a VP, I have always acted on behalf of students and spoken for them at all times when needed. When sometime tells me- I always think of what does rest feel and if majorities voices i.e student in most cases are true – I find a way out of solution by using each resources and ideas that students bring to table.

We have a history of blaming government in everything that goes wrong. Sometimes, we fail to realise what impact university has in making that effect. 
They can be seen as a organization running business. I have continuously had debated with university and won many arguments but when it comes to finance, thy never seem to back out. They never seem to make any loss even though it benefits overall education.
This leads to students being extremely dissatisfied .
What kind of life skills are you giving to students attending further education, what kind of connection does university have, whether we just went to university just to be middle class? What about students that drop out of university and doing their second degree ?What can be done so students are not leaving university with only a degree is always my concern. We have to ensure everyone is treated equally regardless the country they are from and the university that they attended at all times.

What are we taught and how we are taught is extremely important at all times
Although changes take time, what can be done to ensure you are making right changes.
Students attending higher education should be taught how to be challenged, how to defend and take critical platforms, how to confronting ideologist, how to talk to various audiences.

It often leaves with question and ideas on ways we can tailor on HE, propose and negotiate we can make as one to both university and union and protest if needs to be.

I have always stood for students as someone who will graduate next week on engineering for computing. I have suffered the similar problems that higher education student face and worked as Campus officer last year and as vice president for reps and volunteers.
Hence, why, I think I could be an ideal candidate as I will attend meetings/ provide collective feedbacks and come with ideas that could benefit overall HE experience for students.

Adam Kearns

University of Bath Students Union
Nominted by: Laura Ho, University of Bristol Students Union

Since beginning my term as Postgraduate Officer at Bath SU I have continually drawn on NUS resources to inform and advance my work. I view higher education as a social good of inestimable value, and the NUS plays a vital role in representing the students and union officers at its heart. Working with the organisation to help deliver continued support and change would complete my Officer experience. 

I passionately believe that postgraduates need more attention from Students’ Union as a key cohort within the HE community. The purpose of my standing for Zones Committee is to bring a postgraduate voice to the HE debating table and ensure that the group is adequately represented and heard. Whilst postgrad numbers within the sector are rising sharply, only around a dozen SU’s have postgraduate officers and many others are under-prepared for the future increase in cohort size. Therefore I would seek to provide assistance and support to these organisations, helping them transition toward a more holistic student provision. 

As an individual I bring teamwork, passion, dedication and resilience, and can be relied upon to deliver what I promise. In the last four and a half months as Postgraduate Officer, I have driven numerous changes for the student population including work on the training and support provided to graduate teaching assistants; strengthening ties with UCU to jointly campaign around research student issues; seeking to tackle mental ill-health among postgrads through courses and campaigns; organizing events and induction for new students to help lessen postgraduate isolation, and; I have worked with University staff to improve student spaces. 

If elected to HE Zones Committee I will work to ensure that Students’ Unions are supported in fighting for a fair deal for graduate teaching assistants, lobby for NUS research into postgraduate engagement and participation best-practice, campaign for an NUS awareness drive around student mental ill-health, and work with NUS to create an advice document for Students’ Unions introducing a postgraduate officer role into their structure. 

I will also hold the Vice President (Higher Education) to account by thoroughly scrutinizing their work and ensuring that NUS acts in the interests of its membership, whether by supporting Students’ Unions or challenging the government where necessary. Ultimately the NUS is here for all students and should remain true to its mission of providing students and students’ unions with a collective voice that articulates the needs and aspirations of its members to relevant bodies

Molly Kneath

Goldsmiths Students' Union 
Nominator: Bristol Students' Union

Education and fighting educational inequality is something that I have found has consumed my life in the best way possible. Before becoming a sabb I was a student rep, a department rep, and I worked with local schools in Lewisham, which is one of the poorer boroughs in London. I want to be part of a movement that is working towards making university more accessible for these young people, that is working towards making our university sector one that is liberated and equal, and that is working towards collaborative degrees. This is a big reason I want to sit on the HE Zone committee - to try and translate the work I've been doing from a local scale onto a national one. At Goldsmiths, where I'm education officer I've been focusing on making university accessible and having students lead these changes, for instance through the development of disabled department reps. I'm working at improving representation for smaller sections of students with my full-time and part-time officer team, for instance working with the postgrad officer on improved support for them, especially through the tough summer months. To have the opportunity to carry this work out on a larger scale and improve the experiences of people outside of my institution is hugely exciting and I'd love to see what I could do on a national scale.

Tamaki Laycock

University of York Students Union
Nominated by: Ali Day, Sheffield Students Union

The current government's escalating enforcement of policy that is discriminatory against international people directly affects students who are wanting to gain an education from a UK institution. As a non-EU international student, I want to make sure that whatever policy is being discussed is inclusive of not only EU students in this post-Brexit climate, but inclusive of non-EU students who are not getting a focus but are still being threatened by governmental policies. 

Jelili Mustapha

University of Salfard Students Union
Nominated by: Obinna Abraham, University of Salford

I am Jelili Mustapha, a MSc degree holder in Environmental and Public Health. Professionally, I am a Biomedical Scientist and currently the Science and Technology Officer of the University of Salford Students' Union, Greater Manchester.

Our education sector is being attacked by the government, commercializing our fundamental human right and making it difficult for us to achieve our future aspiration. Different policies and bills have been proposed by the government aimed at making education less accessible to everyone, especially in the wake of BREXIT when many current and future students do not feel welcome in the UK. International students do not fancy UK as education destination anymore due to the government nasty policies against them. TEF is another nightmare for Home undergraduate student population. 

Fellow comrades, we must not allow politicians to continuously toy with our future. There is need for us to galvanize effort in ensuring that the government listen to our yearnings. We need a strong HE Zone committee that will formulate policies aimed at upstaging government approaches to the marketization of our education sector. To achieve these, we need people who are passionate and dedicated to work closely with different stakeholders in the community, nationally and internationally. 

I believe I've got what it takes to be an HE zone committee member. I have the zeal, ability, dedication and passion. I am ready to work closely with FTOs and zones in ensuring that we get what rightfully belong to us. I will ensure that the VPHE deliver her mandate by supporting, scrutinizing and criticizing her constructively. A vote for me is a vote of trust, a vote of mandate and a vote for the realization of education for all.

Vote Jelili Mustapha as your HE Zone committee member and we will get to where we want to be.

Danny Nasr 

Goldsmiths SU 
​Nominated by: Niall Hamilton, Reading SU

Hey I'm Danny Nasr and standing for HE NEC place. I was first elected as Education officer at Goldsmiths SU, but later became acting President, as well as a world first education-welfare- diversity- campaigns- and activities officer. I had to rebuild my union from the ground up, and rooted it in fighting for a strong, liberated, inclusive and proactive education system. Being an international student, I understand the issues and barriers put up against us in HE. I aim to put the interests of these students at the heart of the HE zones, providing intersectional representation for all our members. As president this year, I've worked with my education officer to ensure that our strategy this year is reflective of the ever changing and volatile nature of HE at present day, formulating a strong and proactive opposition to the TEF and the increasing privatised nature of our education system.

Ana Oppenheim

Arts SU
Nominated by: Hope Worsdale, Warwick SU


My name is Ana Oppenheim, I'm the Campaigns Officer at Arts SU and on NUS NEC. I am standing for HE Zone because I've seen the effects that the marketisation agenda has on students, staff and our institutions and I believe it's up to us to challenge it.

Ever since the HE Green Paper came out last year, I've actively opposed it, using tactics from press articles and lobbying MPs to direct action. On my own campus, I've worked with students and with UCU to raise awareness of what the reforms will mean for a specialist institution like ours, and to come up with alternatives. Just a few days ago, we got my university to U-turn on its plans to increase fees for continuing students, and I'm currently campaigning against its participation in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

I want an NUS that's as bold in standing up for education as the government is in attacking us. An NUS that will do whatever it takes to defend its members, and that is capable of proposing radical, creative and credible alternatives to the marketisation agenda. I want to see an NUS HE Zone that confidently stands up for student from marginalised groups and minority backgrounds, for international students like myself, and in solidarity with university workers.

I'm standing for a free, accessible, democratic and liberated education - nothing less. I don't want to argue on the government's terms and ask for a 'better TEF.' I want our movement to build a radical vision of what our HE should look like, and make it reality.
 

Luke Renwick

Sheffield Hallam Students' Union
Nominated by: Ali Day, Sheffield Students Union


As the Education Officer at Sheffield Hallam Students' Union, I have had lots of engagement with the NUS over the past few months regarding the TEF - not least because our Vice Chancellor is the chair of the national TEF panel. This has lead to me having an in depth knowledge of the intricacies of the TEF and supporting policies and I therefore feel I could contribute greatly towards the HE Zone committee. I have also been involved in policy creation at my students union, promoting free education, proactive action against the TEF, and in the creation of inclusive policy and access agreements at my university.

My election as Education Officer in March, and as NUS Delegate 4 days ago, have shown my passion for both Sheffield Hallam and our Higher Education sector. Celebrating diversity, empowering liberation, and strengthening education are the unwavering core of my beliefs and are the foundations from which I built my manifesto and election campaigns. Thousands of students voted for me based on this manifesto, and I hope to continue to represent even more students and these beliefs through a position on the HE Zone Committee. By voting for me, I promise that all of these values will be instilled throughout all the work and every piece of policy that the committee creates.

Karl Robson

Northumbria Students Union
Nominated by: Danielle Etheridge, Northumbria Students Union

A lay student councillor at Northumbria Students' Union, a few reasons you should vote me for HE Zone committee are;

Experience in policy creation for last 4 years within Students' Unions.

I've attended 3 national and 2 zone conferences so I'm aware how things work, and what can be improved!

Current Deputy chair of Northumbria students council, Treasurer of two societies. 

Committed to holding officers to account and developing our priorities to meet standards and make the largest impact possible. 

Not to mention I'm a huge fan of democracy and a pretty all round nice guy. 

#vote Karl

#voteniceguy

Grace Suszek

University of Derby Students' Union

Nominated by: Augustus Mbanasor, De Montfort Students' Union

My name is Grace Suszek. I am currently the President of the University of Derby Students' Union and I am running for the position of HE Zones Committee NEC place.

UDSU are currently taking action against the TEF and engaging students with the National Demo that is taking place in November. My belief lies firmly between activism and pragmatism. I fully believe in trying to gain a seat around a table with the people who are trying to enforce these policies upon us. However, when that door is closed to us, I feel that we have no choice but to enlist activism. Our collective voice has the power to deafen. We cannot stop the TEF coming, but we can fight to ensure our students are given the best deal possible.

NUS' motion 201 was passed this summer and recently there have been unions voicing concerns about the impact of this. They have called for the NSS boycott to be postponed until an equality impact assessment can be carried out. Fifty-one Student Unions from across the country have now added their names to this and this outcry can not go ignored. If elected, I would work to ensure that all unions feel their voices are being given a fair hearing in policy and decision making.

It is a difficult time in education, and there has been a lot of contention surrounding HE - from the way we deal with damaging policy to the attacks we are receiving as a sector. I feel that I could add value to discussions NUS hold around HE. I am not afraid to hold the NUS officer to account, neither am I afraid to fight for the students we represent.

Lisa Whiting

Durham Students Union
Nominated by: Tom Murray Richards, Falmouth and Exeter Students Union

Hello, I’m Lisa, Academic Affairs Officer at Durham Students’ Union. I’m running to be on HE zone because during a time of drastic change and uncertainty, we need practical, meaningful and diverse ways of targeting the Higher Education reforms, both nationally and in our own Students’ Unions.

These battles cannot be fought alone and collective activity is needed to put students back in the centre of Higher Education. This does not necessarily mean all doing the same thing, but working towards the same goals. We all want education to be accessible to students from every background, and we all want students to be free to learn in a safe and supportive environment. What works for one Students’ Union and University may not work for another, and success will be contingent upon recognising these differences. We need diverse approaches so every officer in every Students’ Union across the country feels able to make change for their students.

We need practical guides for talking about widening participation so Education Officers can meaningfully feed into access agreements. We need strong evidence bases for policies targeting structural barriers to education, such as entry tariffs and dodgy quality metrics. We need ongoing support for SU Officers, postgraduate student leaders and course reps who fight tirelessly to improve education at their institution every day.

This is a tipping point in the history of HE in the UK, and NUS needs to be creating powerful, accessible and practical policy that can be directly applied to you, your students and your Students’ Unions.

Re open nominations (RON)

 

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