Thursday 18-05-2017 - 13:03
NUS Scotland has launched its manifesto for the General Election calling for student futures to be a top priority for all Scottish MPs.
This week NUS Scotland has launched its campaign manifesto ahead of the general election, setting out the policies that students want to see prioritised by the next UK Government. The release of the manifesto comes at the same time as Green MSP Ross Greer has lodged a motion in parliament highlighting the voter registration drive that NUS Scotland and partners have been carrying out.
The policy priorities set out in NUS Scotland's #GE2017manifesto are:
- Securing a positive future for students and young people in the aftermath of Brexit.
- Reintroducing the Post-Study Work Visa
- Ensuring well-funded education system, with adequate access to student support
As part of the campaign, we havebeen running a voter registration drive, encouraging young people to register to vote ahead of the May 22 deadline – as well as calling on politicians to engage with young people. Green MSP Ross Greer has today lodged a motion in Parliament highlighting the work NUS Scotland is carrying out with the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament, in partnership with the Electoral Commission, to encourage young people and students to register to vote, think about where they will be on 8 June and how they will cast their vote.
Commenting, NUS Scotland President Vonnie Sandlan said:
“Our manifesto is calling on Scottish politicians at Westminster to commit to stand up for education and the future of students and young people across the UK.
“The student experience isn’t restricted to what happens in the classroom, and decisions made in Westminster have had significant consequences for students in Scotland. We’re calling on candidates to commit to ensuring that every student has access to the financial support they need to access education, stay there, and succeed. No student should be forced to choose between graduating and dropping out based on the amount of money in their bank account.
“With Brexit on the horizon it is so important to elect MPs who will defend the values of openness and accessibility within our education system. We need to see Scottish MPs defending the freedom of students to study across Europe – this freedom provides so many opportunities that benefit not just our education system but wider society.
“We also want to see Scotland remain a welcoming place for international students after they’ve graduated. Re-introducing the post-study work visa - which has unanimous support in Holyrood - would allow graduates to stay in Scotland and use the knowledge and skills that our universities and colleges have given them to contribute to the country that they’ve chosen to call home.”
On NUS Scotland’s work to get students registered to vote, Vonnie Sandlan said:
“There are around half a million students in Scotland and they have a chance to make a real impact on the outcome of this election. We’re working up until 22 May to get students and young people registered to vote and make sure their voices are heard.
“This election falls at the end of term - just as many students start to move home or elsewhere for summer. We’re encouraging all students to think about where they will be on 8 June and how they will cast their vote.”
NUS Scotland’s election manifesto ‘A fair future for students and young people’ is available here.
NUS Scotland has been on tour encouraging students to register to vote. Last week we visited: Glasgow Caledonian University, West Lothian College, Heriot Watt University and Moray College UHI and this week we will visit students in Aberdeen. Vonnie and President-elect Luke Humberstone went live on Facebook at Moray College urging students to register asap. You can find more on the NUS #GenerationVote tour here.
Green MSP Ross Greer has lodged the following motion in Parliament to highlight the issue of voter registration. You can find the motion here, and the text of the motion is below:
S5M-05631 Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green): Young People and Voting—That the Parliament believes that the General Election will impact upon the future of students and young people; recognises the importance of voter registration and the role that voting plays in democratically expressing opinions on key issues; notes the voter registration work being carried out in partnership with the Electoral Commission by NUS Scotland, the Electoral Reform Society Scotland, Young Scot and the Scottish Youth Parliament; calls on young people and students to consider where they will be on 8th June 2017 and how they will cast their vote; urges them to register for postal or proxy voting if they believe that they will not be at home that day, and resolves to encourage them to exercise their democratic right in this and all future votes.