What is policy?
Put simply, policy is what NUS Scotland believes. Our policy is the way that students in Scotland tell us what is important to them and what they want NUS Scotland to take action on. Policy tells us the campaigns that we should be working on and directs the work of the NUS Scotland President.
Creating policy is one of NUS Scotland Conference’s core purposes. Students tell NUS Scotland what to do, not the other way around. Policy sets out what NUS Scotland thinks about the issues affecting students. Once policy has been set, the NUS Scotland President uses it to create a Plan for Action with the help of staff. The Plan for Action details what NUS Scotland does and how we win for students. We do all this through our democratic process. This year, that process is changing…
The Policy Process
Developing policy should be a process in which any student can participate. Last year, NUS UK changed its rules, which allow us try new ways of making this a more collaborative and better-informed forum.
Submitting policy proposals (from member students’ associations and unions)
Friday 17 January 1200 to Friday 7 February 1700
Students’ Associations are encouraged to submit policy proposals online. These should be short and written in plain language. Submission should be in two parts:
- Identifying the issue (“Context”)
- Explain the position NUS Scotland should take on it and why (“Believes”)
Each submission may not exceed 500 words in total, 250 words for each part.
Policies must be submitted on the NUS Scotland Conference Democracy Hub- a live platform that member students’ associations and unions can view and comment in real time.
Presidents or nominated student leaders are issued the login details to access the platform. NUS Scotland encourages students’ associations and their officer teams to collaborate in this process.
The deadline to submit policy proposals is Friday 7 February at 1700.
How to submit: Every students’ union president or nominated student leader will receive a login to the site. The username will be this person’s preferred email address and the password will be the students’ union’s NUS Secure Code.
Commenting and preferencing policy proposals (from member students’ unions)
Friday 17 January to Friday 7 February
Commenting on all the policies is vital. As policies are submitted, students’ associations are encouraged to comment on each one. Comment will be used to form roundtable discussions at the conference.
Students’ associations will not be able to submit a policy that is too similar to a proposal that’s already been submitted. This will be moderated and determined by the NUS Scotland Steering Committee.
Students’ associations should preference the importance of policies using indicative voting. In other words, rank the policies in order of importance. This is to assist in demonstrating the level of importance from membership.
Commenting and preferencing policy proposals (from Conference delegates)
Friday 17 January to Friday 21 February
Commenting on all the policies is vital. All Conference delegates are encouraged to comment on each policy. Comment will be used to form roundtable discussions at the conference.
Conference delegates should preference the importance of policies using indicative voting. In other words, rank the policies in order of importance. This is to assist in demonstrating the level of importance from all delegates.
How to take part: All delegates will be able to login to the site using the preferred email address provided at registration. They will be emailed their account details prior to voting opening.
Selection of policy areas (by Scottish Steering Committee)
Week beginning 24 February
Based on the preferences and comments, Scottish Steering Committee – made up of elected members of NUS Scotland and NUS UK 2019/20 committees – will put forward policy areas for discussion, debate and decision. These will be circulated to all members and Conference delegates in advance of NUS Scotland Conference.
Discussing and building policies; debating and voting
Thursday 19 March and Friday 20 March at NUS Scotland Conference
At Conference, we will run a series of discursive discussions on each of the policy topics. The purpose of these discussions will be to deepen our collective understanding of the issues, create space to add further detail and build policies by consensus.
NUS Scotland will look to invite experts to listen and offer their expertise – not opinions – during the discussions. These experts will be selected by the Scottish Steering Committee, working with proposers, to ensure fairness and balance. A mediator will guide the discussions to be inclusive spaces for all delegates. A minute taker will record the discussions without attribution to individuals.
Delegates will come together to formally debate the policy proposals and vote on them. Delegates will hear feedback from each of the workshops, hear speeches for and against each amendment, and vote on the policies. The Scottish Steering Committee will guide delegates through the process. The passed policies will form the basis of the officer’s Plan for Action.