In September 2006, top-up fees were introduced in Northern Ireland. Students were faced with huge debt to fund their way through third level education.
My time as convenor was a busy year. Coming from the University of Ulster as Vice President Magee and Overall President, I was very aware of the work that had to be done in lobbying on behalf of the students in Northern Ireland.
We had an extremely successful rally in London on 29 October 2006 as part of the national campaign.
In 2006/2007, NUS-USI worked hard on the ‘Admission Impossible’ campaign which called for ‘no to soaring levels of student debt, no to any attempt to lift the cap, no to the marketisation of education, and yes to free education and access for all’.
Colleges, both higher and further, became involved in the campaign and we held a number of question and answer sessions in Stormont, among many other events.
During my time as convenor, I worked on the development of further education students’ unions along with staff member Jill McGrath. During this time, we saw a lot more further education colleges investing in the development of these unions.
I have many memories from my time in NUS-USI. It was great to work with such inspiring and strong people. I wish NUS-USI the very best in the future.