Tell us what modern NUS democracy looks like

Friday 22-07-2016 - 14:46

As you know we’ve just launched our new strategic framework NUS 100 which you can download in English here and Welsh here. Throughout Project 100 we asked you what our goals should be for the next six years. Thank you again for taking the time to feed in your energy and ideas.

Time and time again we heard about the importance of having a strong, thriving democracy. This was echoed on campuses during affiliation referenda where students raised concerns about the accessibility of NUS’ democracy.

So what does modern NUS democracy look like? Our current democratic system has worked for many years. But it was designed for a different time, a different size and type of membership – so what democratic processes would enable NUS to make the best decisions now and in the future?

In April, our sovereign decision-making body, National Conference, passed a set of principles for a better NUS democracy. Central to these principles were those used by Quality Students’ Unions for evaluating democracy in students’ unions namely: inclusiveness, transparency, considered judgement and popular control.

Summer training is already in full swing but there’s still valuable time at these and other events to talk about what these principles might look like in practice.

There are four questions that would be great to get your thoughts on:

1. Inclusiveness: how do we make our decision-making inclusive of the full diversity of our membership?

2. Transparency: how do we make our decision making as simple, accessible and easy to understand?

3. Considered judgement: how do we allow more time for in depth debate to inform the decisions?

4. Popular control: how do we reach out to involve more students and students' unions? 

I’d love to hear your answers to these questions or any other ideas you have for how to strengthen our democracy. Please share your thoughts with me or the other officers over the rest of the summer months by emailing,

We’ve all committed as this year’s full time officer team to bringing a new proposal for NUS’ democracy to National Conference in 2017.

After the summer we’ll be establishing some initial proposals to talk to you about at Zone Conferences and other opportunities in the first term. We’ll then establish a revised proposal based on your feedback to be submitted to National Conference 2017. This consultation will be far and wide – all opinions will be welcomed and listened to. This will be published before Christmas to allow further input in January

Democracy not only the way we make decisions, it’s the way we connect with you, through our member students’ unions. That’s why this work is so crucial and so exciting. Imagining what we could do with even more people, with even greater diversity, acting together as a movement.



Blogs, Features, NUS100

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