Hi there! I'm Josh Muirhead and I'm the Vice-President Communities at Stirling Student Union.
I am running to be NUS UK President because I believe that, no matter who you are or where you come from, we all deserve the best opportunity to do well at college and university. I have experienced first-hand some of the barriers that exist for students. Despite all that has already been done, we must go further to ensure everyone has the best chance to succeed with their studies. With your help, I’d love to help bring down those barriers! Muirhead In The Right Direction!
Nominated by: Jennifer Park, Edinburgh Napier Students' Association (ENSA); Rebecca Wyman, New College Lanarkshire; Sean McConnell, Students' Association of the University of the West of Scotland; Lewis Kelly, GCU Students' Association; Edward Keeler, University of Stirling Students' Union; Owen Wright, University of Abertay Dundee Students' Association; Andrew Smirthwaite, Forth Valley College Students' Association
Hi there, my name is Josh Muirhead and I'm standing for election to be the next NUS UK President.
So, a little about myself. During the last year I have been the Vice-President Communities at the University of Stirling Students’ Union where I have worked on several issues over the last year: gaining a fair rent deal for students with an increase to an accommodation enhancement fund; improving the university’s carbon footprint and overall actions on sustainability; pushing for the university to provide information sessions and support to our EU and international students; to name but a few! I believe my time as Vice-President at Stirling has helped provide knowledge and experience that I can use as NUS President.
If elected as President, I aim to make progress in these areas:
Everyone Needs a Home
Across the UK student accommodation standards are falling, but somehow prices are still increasing in older buildings becoming unaffordable. While private companies and universities focus on creating newer and more expensive accommodation, they are creating a divide amongst students. It’s time for student associations and unions from across the UK to come together and campaign for a better, fairer deal on rent with stronger protections from abusive landlord practices.
Loans are not the Answer
I think we can all agree that education should be available to all. But this is quickly not becoming the case now. Having to pay a maximum of £9,250 a year is not a right; it’s a privilege. With rent increases, the cost of living rising can students really afford to go into lifelong debt just to have a suppose fair chance in life? We must break down the institutional and financial barriers that exist and one of doing this is to follow the Scottish educational model. Though not perfect, it provides a fair chance for all to attend further and higher education reducing the barriers that exist. This is first step to an education system that works for all. We must remove or at the very least minimise fees for education and bring in a bursary system that empowers students rather than the loan system which does nothing but degrades us all.
If elected I will campaign for the decrease of fees, parity of funding between Further and Higher Education and more directed funding to meet social and economic needs working towards a free education system. It’s not the end goal but merely the first steps in the right direction.
Taking students for a ride
It’s no secret that transport companies the length and breadth of the UK are overpriced, outdated, and not fit for purpose. This isn’t a problem for only students but for society as a whole. The student movement in the form of both the NUS and it’s constituent members must work together with pressure groups and trade unions to see real meaningful change to our transport system. HS2 is not the answer; nor is an increase of cars on the road. Funding must be spread evenly throughout the transport network and be UK wide. As President I will campaign to improve this for not only students, but for everyone.
Though not a massive amount of issues I believe those above will not be completed in the first 100 days of a new NUS administration, nor in it’s lifetime. However we must begin to start seeing the change we want to see. So let us begin and start Muirheading in the right direction. (Not sorry for the pun)