Responding to the Green Paper – what you need to know

Tuesday 12-01-2016 - 11:49

With just three days to go until the deadline for responding to the Higher Education Green Paper, I want to make sure students' unions have the resources you need. I have put together some of the key highlights you need to know before submitting your union’s response in the next few days.

With the deadline to respond to the Green Paper approaching, I want to make sure students’ unions have their voices heard in the next few days.

In the Green Paper, the government raised questions around the accountability and activity of students’ unions. Therefore a key part of our response nationally has been gathering evidence of the huge contribution and impact students’ unions make across the country.

But it is vitally important the government hears from you directly too.

To submit a response to the Green Paper you can fill in the consultation response form here

The deadline for submission is 11.45pm on Friday 15 January 2016.

We advise that students’ unions prioritise which questions are most important for them and their students but I've summarised the key messages from our own response to help you with this:

  • Championing Students' Unions: In November we came together on #LoveSUs day to highlight the fantastic work students' unions do each and every day. Students, officers and others shared the reasons why they love students' unions. We want you to share these with the government to show we are united, we are strong and we are here to stay. You can find out more here.
  • Quality Education: We believe properly funding our institutions is what drives quality, not raising tuition fees and pitting providers against each other to chase income. You can find the hub for the Quality doesn’t grow on fees campaign here.
  • Students at the heart of the system: The Office for Students, proposed by the government as part of the Green Paper needs to have students involved at every level. The government's proposals don't include student representation in this and yet suggest it will represent 'the student interest'. We must ensure the student voice drives the conversation going forward at every level.

It's also important that we ensure:

  • Good metrics are used on teaching standards rather than poor measures of teaching excellence proposed by the government. There is no single definition of teaching excellence or quality. Institutions are unique and will have different requirements.
  • Students are protected, as is their voice. But it is not right that we should have a system which actively supports the idea or deems it okay if institutions or courses close down.

There is obviously so much more detail that matters when formalising your response and to do that we have put together resources that can help you.

Your students' union can:

*You’ll need to be logged into NUS Connect to download this.

I want to thank you for all your hard work in putting your responses together and ensuring NUS is heard on a national level. Defending students' unions in the months ahead is our first priority.


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