NUS MEMBERSHIP UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 21 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:
- NUS President, Zamzam Ibrahim, met with the newly appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Rebecca Long Bailey, to discuss our proposals on the Student Safety Net, student accommodation, exams, assessments and healthcare students. We discussed how we can work together to ensure students are supported and treated fairly in response to the pandemic
- We met the Office for Students yesterday, again discussing our Student Safety Net work and how the government can support HE, as well as looking ahead at the impact on access and participation plans and the interventions that the sector can make around mental health
- We will be contacting all major political parties, including Conservative, Labour, Lib Dems and Greens, to make them aware of our Student Safety Net proposals.
- We sought further clarification on why international students are not eligible for the newly announced Scottish Government hardship funds and unfortunately this is due to legislation stating that funds are subject to domicity. There is good news, however, in that most, if not all, universities have their own hardship funds in response to the pandemic which are open to international students
- If you’re a college student don’t forget to take part in this survey looking at your experiences during the Covid-19 lockdown. It’s being run by our colleagues in the EIS-FELA staff trade union, who will share the results with NUS Scotland so we can both represent students’ interests in the coming weeks.
- We held a membership launch briefing for our Student Safety Net campaign today which will lobby the government for support for all students affected by the pandemic through a nationwide hardship fund for current students, a financial support package for education leavers, a chance to retake the year of education, and a reimbursement of fees or a debt write off. The public launch takes place tomorrow
- We met with students' unions' CEOs and senior managers today as part of regular lunchtime update sessions. To join the next meeting email email@example.com
- Ellen Fearon has been elected as the new 2020-2022 NUS-USI President at today's NUS-USI Conference. Ellen, from Queen's University Belfast Students' Union, said: “This is a crucial moment for NUS-USI’s history. Now more than ever, we need a grassroots, mass movement of students, learners and apprentices across NI. We need to build a national campaign to tackle the mental health crisis, put FE development back on the agenda, and fight climate breakdown, to achieve the free, lifelong and accessible education we deserve."