Malia's Diary: working towards inclusive, liberated campuses

Thursday 06-04-2017 - 16:54

This week has included a trip to the beautiful town of Armagh, launching a report on the impact of International Students on our communities, and how to ensure campuses are inclusive to all.

NUS-USI Conference

I was honoured to attend NUS-USI Conference 2017 this week in sunny Armagh! I welcomed the opportunity to hear about the challenges facing your students, and all that you are doing to respond to them. This includes the excellent student wellbeing survey.

It was particularly good to hear from Kellie O’Dowd representing Alliance for Choice, a group that campaigns for women’s right to access free, safe, legal abortion. This is a campaign I am proud to support, and I want to send my solidarity to the #repealthe8th movement and those fighting for reproductive rights across the whole of Ireland.

In the spirit of collaboration, it was great to speak alongside USI President Annie Hoey, who spoke about the need for solidarity and reminded us that our unity is our strength.

Other discussions included Brexit, and the particular implications that it will have on students across Ireland. You can find the NUS UK response to the triggering of Article 50 here.

This weekend I will be speaking at the NUS Wales Black Leaders Conference on Friday, and the TUC Black Workers Conference on Saturday. I may see some of you there!


Student perspectives on their international peers

This week our International Students’ Officer, Mostafa Rajaai, is launching a new report that looks into student perspectives on studying alongside international students.

International students have become a target of political focus throughout recent debates on immigration in the UK. As a welcome and vital part of our education landscape, International Students’ are integral to connecting our students, academics and communities with the wider world. That is why defending the rights of international students is a key strand of our priority campaign, Liber8.

This report explores student experiences of international students, to ensure that student voices are included in upcoming political debate. You can find the full report here.


I have also been working on the campaign to save Kelechi, a committed activist and student, who has been threatened with detention and deportation. Our movement must come together and defend those under threat from UK border policy. You can read her story and donate to her legal costs here.

Report into the experiences of Jewish Students

This week NUS launched a report based on the experiences of Jewish students in 2016/17. You can find the report here.

This is a report that was led by Rob Young as part of his remit as Vice President Society and Citizenship. It is vital that we challenge all forms of hate, and I look forward to working with Rob and Jewish student representatives to address these issues. I have also embedded tackling antisemitism into my own work, including running a specific round-table on it recently. You can find more details of that work here.

Finally, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ash Sarkar of Novara Media for a chat on anti-racism, hip-hop, and why I love the Birmingham accent! Take a look below.


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