Update: 18 March 2020



Our number one priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of the students and apprentices we represent, so we have been working closely with institutions, trade unions, national sector bodies like Universities UK and the Association of Colleges, the Student Loans Company, and the government to inform our response to Coronavirus (Covid-19).


Here’s an update of what we are doing on your behalf to ensure your interests are represented as we tackle this pandemic:



  • The government has published its Coronavirus bill which has been devised on a cross-party basis and will likely pass without significant debate and formal divisions. Our summary focuses on the provisions in the Bill most relevant to members, and our initial view on them.


  • NUS National President, Zamzam Ibrahim, Liam McCabe (NUS Scotland President), Rob Simkins, (NUS Wales President) and Robert Murtagh (NUS-USI President) have released a statement in response to the impact of Coronavirus on our institutions and students


  • NUS Vice President (Welfare), Eva Crossan Jory has released statements on support for vulnerable students and medical and healthcare students. View all our press releases


  • We’re working with trade unions, with a common interest in safeguarding the rights of students, to prepare joint responses and attempt to shape the government's agenda


  • Yesterday, NUS UK met with the Home Office as part of a sector meeting to discuss visas and immigration issues. We've summarised the key answers from the Home Office


  • NUS has discussed with the Student Loans Company the concerns we have had from students’ unions about policy and communication regarding student finance payments.



  • NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe, met with the Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science; the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) and college and university staff unions yesterday to discuss Coronavirus and its impact on students and staff alike


  • Liam raised the need for assurances on student funding, support for international students, and support for students in precarious employment. Liam also raised the need for all institutions to engage with their students’ associations


  • NUS Scotland will meet with the Scottish Government, Student Awards Agency Scotland and the Scottish Funding Council this Friday and will have a further meeting with the Minister next Wednesday.



  • NUS-USI has written to the Ministry of Economy raising key students' concerns related to the pandemic


  • NUS Wales put questions directly to the Welsh Government’s Head of Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning on a range of issues affecting students


  • We have scheduled weekly calls with the Welsh Government to feed back the latest issues faced by students’ unions


  • We have also arranged regular briefings with political party spokespeople in the National Assembly for Wales to ensure students’ issues are raised in the Senedd.



  • A reminder that we're working with NUS UK and OneVoice to complete research with students about the pandemic. We’ll also collect insights into what’s needed to make students’ lives better during unprecedented changes to their studies and their social activity. For more details, have a read of yesterday's Covid-19 update


  • Join us tomorrow, Thursday 19 March, for a webinar updating you on the work we’ve been doing as a result of the Covid-19 developments and signposting you to the support available. Email to be sent a calendar link to join or use the Skype Link to join the call.



Due to the recent government guidance announcements we’re changing how we deliver our events and conferences. Key changes to note this week are that:


  • NUS Scotland Conference will take place online tomorrow, Thursday 19 March only


  • National Conference election hustings were held today and will be available as recordings by the end of the week

Delegates have all been contacted and you’ll find more information here.