Priority Policy 2020: Building a Movement to Transform Education 


This motion was submitted by the current FTO team and relates to NUS’ Priority Campaign for a National Education Service launched in July 2019. The campaign is NUS’ ten-year campaign for a better education which is funded, lifelong and accessible. The motion outlines the issues the campaign should address relating to the campaign themes of Education Funding, Lifelong Education and Accessible Education. The motion argues that for the next two years NUS should focus on building a positive vision of education with students’ unions and winning the public argument for that vision.


Read full policy document here.


Let’s end this mental health crisis together, once and for all


This motion highlights a mental health crisis affecting students across the UK. It suggests that there are many drivers for this, including accommodation, finance, marketisation and support structures, and that it disproportionately affects specific groups of students. The motion argues that better NHS funding is key, but that institutions should also change their approaches, including on how they facilitate healthcare and training on mental health. It argues that NUS should lobby to change how institutions and the government approach mental health issues for students, developing collaborative approaches to address the change in student demographics and context.


Read full policy document here.


Declaring a Climate Emergency


The climate crisis is the greatest issue of our time. Extreme weather events are on the increase and those who have done the least to cause climate change are bearing the brunt of the impact. The past year has seen mounting public concern and action on climate, ranging from the school strikes to widespread protest.


We call on the UK further and higher education system to undertake rapid reforms to reduce carbon emissions and to ensure students are prepared for a future which will be drastically impacted by the climate crisis. Rather than simply declaring ‘climate emergencies’ and carrying on business as usual, we want to see wide-reaching reforms across FE and HE in response to the crisis.


Read full policy document here.


International Student Support and Experience


The motion discusses the financial, academic and other welfare issues international students are facing in a post-Brexit UK. It argues that international students deserve an equitable experience to home students. It outlines a number of solutions that should become standardised across the HE sector to improve international students’ lives. These include reforms to tuition fees, employability, accommodation, visas, student engagement and research into the experience of international students to inform further decision making.


Read full policy document here.


Fire safety, late buildings, accessibility and affordability - the need for a national student housing campaign


The motion explains how issues in student accommodation such as fire safety and affordability are some of the biggest problems for students across the UK and how there is currently political momentum to capitalise on. It argues that in the absence of a VP Welfare NUS needs to continue this work. It argues NUS should develop a holistic policy vision for what reforms we want to see to the sector and mobilise to win them. To win them NUS should engage in supporting local campaigns and run a national one on this issue.


Read full policy document here.


Parity in Healthcare for all students and apprentices


The motion explains that students do not have access to equitable healthcare despite students forming a large portion of the community in a lot of major cities across the UK. They are not able to register at two GP surgeries, must pay for prescriptions and medical notes. Students face particular healthcare pressures such as in mental health. The motion argues that no student should be at an academic disadvantage due to the inaccessible nature of the healthcare system and outlines reforms needed for this to happen such as making medical notes and prescriptions should free to all students in higher education.


Read full policy document here.


Ending exploitation while studying


This motion discusses students who work in paid employment during study. It argues student workers need greater protections in the workplace, especially in a context of greater marketisation and outsourcing of support roles. As solutions, it suggests greater unionisation of student workers, stronger links with trade unions and the student movement, and work to consider how student volunteers can be protected.


Read full policy document here.


Ending Securitisation, Surveillance and Prevent


This motion explains that policies such as Prevent, Fitness to Study UK Visa & Immigration policies are acting to securitise our campuses, leading to a decline of academic and civil freedoms. In addition, as safeguarding issues are merged with security, the impact on marginalised students intensifies. The motion argues that Prevent government legislation should be scrapped, and policing and surveillance of students must stop. It says that unions should understand their legal duties in order to not comply with the Prevent duty, and should address Prevent rebranding into safeguarding as inappropriate and an abuse of student rights.


Read full policy document here.