Our annual winter Council began with NUS Wales President, Luke Young opening the event by highlighting the work of NUS Wales and students unions over the last few months to secure a £3.6 bn package in student support over the next four years, ensuring that tuition fees will not rise above £4,000 a year for Welsh domiciled students wherever they study in the UK, the Assembly Learning Grant and Financial Contingency Funds are protected from government cuts and that the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is saved in Wales.
Workshop sessions included:-
- a presentation by the NUS Director of Policy, Jim Dickinson, which challenged HE delegates to design an education system that would serve the needs of students with different backgrounds and needs.
- Further Education delegates were a part of a presentation by NUS Wales Deputy President Raechel Mattey, NUS Wales staff members Ann North and Stuart Jones, explored a number of issues and options for further education in Wales.
- NUS Vice President Society & Citizenship- Dannie Grufferty presented her thoughts on how delegates could go about achieving change on a number of issues including poverty, a living wage for all staff and international human rights.
One of the most popular sessions of the day was the panel debate lead by Joanna Simpson, ITV Wales Education Correspondent and featuring Chairman of Tower Colliery and author, Tyrone O'Sullivan, Cathy Owens - Amnesty International Wales and NUS National President, Liam Burns and it was certainly lively and covered a range of topics including students and the right to protest, styles of campaigning, Yes for Wales referendum and even the 1831 Merthyr Uprising!
We were really heartened with the response from the delegates and attendees at NUS Wales Council this year. The enthusiasm they displayed in their passionate debating made the event an exciting and vibrant day for everyone; that set a high standard for all future events.
For a full report of this year's NUS Wales Council 2011