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Update 21 May 2020

  • We've welcomed the changes to Scottish Government Coronavirus Bill on student accommodation and are calling on other UK governments to provide similar support
  • National President, Zamzam Ibrahim, and Vice President (Higher Education), Claire Sosienski Smith have been busy making the case in TV and Radio media this week for a Student Safety Net while calling on the government to clarify on what education provisions will look like for students in the next academic year, especially in light of Cambridge University's decision to move to online teaching
  • We met with the Student Loans Company (SLC) today to receive an update on the processing of applications and the impact of coronavirus. There are no significant issues at present in terms of their operations, but returning student applications in particular are down in both England and Wales and ideally we would encourage students to apply to ensure there are no delays in the payment of student finance next year, even if they are still considering their plans
  • We met with UCAS to get an update on their work and at the moment they have no major concerns about their operations. We also discussed Clearing Plus and the impact of the changes to exam grading and assessment
  • There's been cross European institution recognition for our Coronavirus and Students survey as Disabled Students Officer, Piers Wilkinson, has been sharing the survey findings this week at the European Teaching and Learning Conference
  • The Universities Minister responded to the Disabled Students Campaign's Covid-19 brief and demands saying they will update the sector soon. In the meantime they have advised that the application process for DSAs is continuing as normal and needs assessments can take place remotely. If any students report problems with their DSA applications then they should contact SLC in the first instance
  • The Disabled PhD Students open letter has received 2,000 signatories. Have you signed it?
  • With today being Global Accessibility Awareness Day #GAAD, here's a reminder that Piers has been working with sector leaders to create a free resource hub to ensure that you have free digital resources available to you to use for your disability inclusion campaigns!

  • Our #NotStayingNotPaying campaign scored a major victory last night, as the Scottish Parliament approved emergency Coronavirus legislation that introduces notice periods for student accommodation. From when the bill becomes law (date tbc) students who left their accommodation due to Covid-19 will be able to give 7-days’ notice to be released from their contracts. Any new contracts taken out while the bill is in force will be subject to a 28-day notice period. With many students already being unfairly charged rent for a home they were no longer using, our campaign is demanding rent refunds for students who had to leave their student accommodation due to the virus. Students can use our template letter to request a refund from their provider. We'll be campaigning nationally to ensure all providers are giving appropriate rent refunds, so please remember to get in touch and let us know what response you receive
  • We’re excited to announce that registration for this year’s NUS Scotland College Lead and Change event is now open. This year’s course has been designed as an online programme, promising to provide networking opportunities and the chance to develop the skills officers will need during their time in office. To ensure all delegates get the most from the experience and with that in mind, we are spreading the ‘live content’ over five days. The dates are: Wednesday 15 July to Tuesday 21 July (excl. weekend) 9:30am to 1pm each day. The deadline for delegate registration is Friday 26 June at 4pm. The deadline to complete the returning officers form is Friday 12 June 4pm.

  • The Finance Minister has announced £1.4 million for student hardship funds in Northern Ireland and the Economy Minister has said that she hopes to increase this funding in the June monitoring round.

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  • We presented to the Learning and Work Institute's sector roundtable on the implications of the Covid-19 crisis on the post-16 sector in Wales. We discussed the issues students are facing as a result of the pandemic and what the sector needs to do to adapt to the challenges in the long term
  • We met the Welsh Government to press the case for a student hardship fund for Wales and to seek an update on support for the post-16 sector
  • The Welsh Government has published a resilience plan for the post-16 sector in Wales. The plan sets out how the government will support the whole sector in Wales through the medium- and long-term challenges posed by the pandemic.

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  • With Liberation Conference 2020 less than a week away, we're updating the conference website with useful information on how to take part in this years conference, as well as the agenda for the event next Wednesday 27 May.  For more information and to view the candidates standing for Vice President Liberation and Equality, as well as volunteer positions for the campaigns and steering committees, visit the conference site.