NUS MEMBERSHIP UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 2 April 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:
- We're urging government to take note of University College Union’s latest proposals to the Secretary of State to ensure the sustainability of the FE and HE sector
- We've received a response from UUK and NRLA to our open letter on student renters
- We've had a lot of engagement with MPs including organising a joint, cross-party letter to government
- We have signed a joint letter with UNIPOL and the British Property Federation asking the government to waive council tax obligations for those private sector PBSA providers who release students from their tenancies early.
- A reminder that we've published a letter that sabbatical officers can send to their MPs about housing and coronavirus.
- We took part in the first Ministerial High Level Group meeting with Richard Lochhead MSP, Minister for FE, HE and Science along with senior sector stakeholders and trade unions. Liam raised NUS' demands around student accommodation, hardship funds and exams
- We've supported changes to the emergency Coronavirus (Scotland) Bill discussed in the Scottish Parliament. The amendment from Ross Greer MSP, would ensure that students have the same right to end their lease that other private tenants have
- We've launched a petition calling for universities and private student accommodation providers to let students break their contacts with no penalties #NotStayingNotPaying.
- Rob also wrote to Universities Wales, encouraging institutions to work with their students’ unions on student housing issues during the pandemic
- We've emailed caseworkers in students’ unions across Wales with the latest guidance on evictions processes, and highlighted recent OIA releases.
- We've had over 6500 students complete the Coronavirus Student Survey which closes tomorrow at 5pm. Full information including a promo pack is available, so let's give it a last promotional push with students!
- A reminder that we're currently reviewing the format of Lead and Change to ensure we continue to offer a fantastic experience for newly elected and re-elected officers, whilst ensuring safety. We will need tutor support no matter what format it takes and have extended our application deadline until midnight on Sunday 5 April.
- National Conference voting is open until noon on Monday 6 April for Policies (Read / Watch), National Scrutiny Council elections (Read / Watch), Democratic Procedures Committee elections (Read) and Reports (Read)
- You can view all the recently elected officers including Scotland and Wales on NUS.org.uk