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Update: 23 March 2020

NUS MEMBERSHIP UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 23 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:

  • NUS National President Zamzam Ibrahim  responded the Student Loans Company confirmation that third term payments will be made as normal

 

  • NUS Vice President (Further Education), Juliana Mohamad Noor, comments on  UCAS addressing our concerns on student grades in light of Covid-19

 

  • We've sent a briefing to MPs ahead of the Ministerial statement on the cancellation of examinations. This included our main asks to ensure there is a fair settlement for all institutions

 

  • Look out for our article in Wonkhe article due to be published shortly on student renters’ needs. It features our ‘asks’ and forms the basis of our demands to government. Look out for more about this on our website

 

  • The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) has warned that contract cheating services (also known as essay mills) could try to use the disruption caused by COVID-19 to exploit students. If you see online advertising from essay mills targeting your students, please report this to QAA by emailing to help build an evidence base to support any guidance they issue

 

  • We also met with QAA, who will be issuing guidance to HE providers regularly over the coming week on maintaining the quality of HE and assessments while delivering it remotely. As well as flagging concerns, it would be great to be able to share good practice – if your provider has done something particularly good or innovative, please let us know

 

  • We'll be having a weekly catch-up with the Office for Students to share understanding of the situation and attempt to shape their responses. If you have any issues or themes which you would like us to raise, email Hannah Sketchley

 

  • Last Friday NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe met Scottish Government officials, who guaranteed that 2019/20 student loans and bursaries will continue to be paid on time, and that childcare costs would continue to be paid until the end of the year. NUS Scotland will be meeting weekly with the Scottish Government throughout the Covid-19 crisis. For the latest information visit their website

 

  • Liam will host the first All Scotland Officers Weekly Covid- 19 meeting tomorrow (24 March) at 2pm. This is open to all Scottish college and university student officers, as well as non-affiliate institutions. It will be a chance to share advice and best practice, as well as give us your perspective on the ground to communicate to government. Join the Skype call. Please email us at democracy@nus-scotland.org.uk if you have any questions about this meeting

 

  • Our College Development team is working closely with institutions whose student elections have been disrupted by Covid-19. We’re advising members to move elections online, and if necessary extend campaigning periods, but not to cancel them. Get in touch for more information and advice. 

  • NUS-USI President Robert Murtagh is writing to student accommodation provider Student Roost asking them to allow students to leave their lease early if they are returning to family.

  • The first of our weekly Skype sessions for us to update student officers on what’s happening nationally starts tomorrow at 1pm. At the sessions you can also share what you’re doing with each other. Join the meeting

 

  • We’ve scheduled very informal weekly lunchtime catch-ups for CEOs. Email questions@nus.org.uk if you would like to join

 

  • Our business supplier Alliance, which sells household goods, has opened up its supply channels so our members and your students can order directly from them for delivery to your door

 

  • We've posted the Q&A webinar and slides  from The European Students' Union (ESU) about COVID19 implications for Erasmus+ students on Connect

 

  • Endsleigh has posted an update on insurance policy coverage related to Covid-19.

  • Recordings of the NUS National Conference officer election hustings are now available online. National Conference will take place online on Tuesday 31 March (Elections) and Wednesday 1 April (Conference Business). Voting for candidates is open now, and voting on Policy, National Scrutiny Council and Democratic Procedures Committee seats closes 6 April.