Tuesday 11-09-2018 - 08:59
Further education has been under attack for years. Our sector is underfunded and undervalued. Our education has been marketised, and students are seen as nothing more than numbers on seats.
For eight years, we have seen cut after cut, putting FE staff under increased pressure. FE has always been a special place where students can grow and release their potential, yet we have seen our education becoming more about the qualification, at the expense of enrichment and careers advice - such crucial aspects of our FE journeys.
Throughout my time as Vice President (Further Education), I have been known for my hashtags #myFEjourney and #FEisheretostay. I'm not one to shy away from the fight. Which is why I am proud to announce that we are partnering with the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) and the Association of Colleges (AoC) on a Week of Action for FE Funding from 15-19 October 2018.
As part of this week, NUS is asking for two key things: fair pay for staff and fair funding for colleges. Together, as a movement, we can show that a strong learner voice can make the difference when it comes to bringing about positive change in FE.
On Wednesday 17 October, we will be heading to Westminster to lobby our MPs in a nationally coordinated lobby of parliament, alongside college principals and staff. We are working with AoC to make sure all college students' unions can be represented, and today I would encourage you to have a conversation with your principal about funding your attendance on this crucial day.
But that's not all. There will be all sorts of opportunities to get involved besides the lobby, including local action on your campuses. Alongside this, on Thursday 18 October we will be hosting FEstival, where the theme will be around FE funding and campaigning, as well as welcoming all the new officers and showing what FE student voice is all about. Keep an eye on NUS Connect for further registration details and please reach out to me with any questions.
It’s time for FE to stop surviving and start thriving! It's time for FE voices to be heard, and show how our SUs and voices need investment for our futures.
NUS Vice President (Further Education)