Friday 18-03-2016 - 11:40
NUS Scotland’s manifesto has been shaped by students.
If we truly want to ensure that our universities and colleges better reflect society students must be better supported to succeed in their studies
The manifesto sets out much needed reforms that will have a really positive impact on some of our poorest and most in need students
NUS Scotland has today launched our ‘Shaping Scotland’s Future’ manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections at our conference in Dundee. The manifesto sets out three key policy demands chosen by students across the country - and NUS Scotland will be campaigning for politicians of all parties to commit to these between now and polling day.
The manifesto includes priorities around:
- Further education student support: A right to improved, locally delivered bursary support for all Further Education students.
- Higher education student support: An improved, year round approach to supporting Higher Education students, providing increased grants and a reduced reliance on debt.
- Student mental health: Improved, coordinated mental health support for students, ensuring that provision is linked up across NHS board areas and institutions.
In the lead up to the elections, NUS Scotland will be taking a number of national actions to ensure political parties hear the student voice (see notes). Students will also be campaigning across Scotland to ensure local candidates are committing to our manifesto demands.
Commenting, NUS Scotland President Vonnie Sandlan, said:
“This year for the first time, 16 and 17 year olds will have a vote in the Scottish Parliamentary elections. Now more than ever, students and young people have the potential to be a hugely powerful voice at Holyrood.
"NUS Scotland’s manifesto has been shaped by students. We asked our members to vote and decide our campaign demands for the Scottish Parliament Elections – and they overwhelmingly told us the issue of fairer student support was at the heart of their concerns. Simply put, the status quo can’t go on.
“We’ve made some real progress in widening access to education in Scotland - but if we truly want to ensure that our universities and colleges better reflect society students must be better supported to succeed in their studies. That’s why we’re calling for the introduction of a right to improved, locally delivered bursary support for all Further Education students. The current outdated, unfair system which sees some students missing out on support cannot go on. We also want to see an improved, year round, system of support for higher education students, which starts to put more grants back into their pocket and begins to reduce debt.
“Our manifesto also addresses the need to improve the support offered to students with mental-ill health. We know students face unique stresses throughout education but too often they’re being let down or falling through the cracks in the support system. It’s time for cross-party action on student mental health.
“I’m proud of the manifesto we’re launching today, which sets out much needed reforms that will have a really positive impact on some of our poorest and most in need students. The manifesto outlines the action needed to create a system that better supports all students, enabling them to stay in education and achieve their full potential. Scotland’s politicians must commit to those improvements and give students the support they need to succeed.”
- A copy of the full manifesto is available here. You can find more information on NUS Scotland’s “Shaping Scotland’s Future” election campaign at http://shapingscotlandsfuture.org/
- Students will be rallying outside the Scottish Parliament on the final day of business, Wednesday 23rd of March, demanding fairer support for students in Scotland. The official Facebook event for the demonstration is available here.
- Following the national demonstration, the next major event in Shaping Scotland’s Future will be a national debate, featuring party leaders. To find out more, or to register to attend, go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/shaping-scotlands-future-the-big-election-debate-tickets-21817239952