As we sit back and reflect on 90 years of NUS, we do so in the knowledge that we have won some monumental battles for and with students, and genuinely shaped the sector for the better.
From the introduction of students, to the bringing together of Irish students north and south of the border; forcing Barclay’s out of South Africa, to some of the biggest demonstrations ever seen on the streets of the UK.
We have genuinely been a movement that has shaped the political agenda, campaigned for change where it matters most, and won when it matters most.
Yet even more amazingly, the past 90 years haven’t seen our efforts diminished, and instead we continue to go from strength to strength, with the same passion that saw our movement formed.
As so it is against that backdrop that I write this as NUS Scotland comes out of one of our biggest wins ever – forcing a majority SNP government to reverse damaging cuts to college bursaries, and put even more money in to places.
With their majority, the SNP needn’t have to listen to us, and could’ve simply passed their budget unchanged, but efforts by tens of thousands of students changed their minds, and made them realise just how vital college funding is. And reaffirmed for me just how vital we are, 90 years on.
We should be under absolutely no illusion of just how huge a win this is. We were the single most successful campaigning organisation in Scotland in the lead-up to the budget vote, and the first to secure anything of this magnitude under a majority administration.
We set the media agenda for the past few months, and ensured that colleges were the most talked about subject in Scotland.
This is honestly an inspiring movement to be a part of – and the things that we achieve with our members should never be talked down. It is these sorts of wins that have defined our movement for 90 years, and I know that they will continue to define them for 90 more, and on.