NUS MEMBERSHIP UPDATE ON CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) 3 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've organised a joint letter through the APPG for Students from 110 MPs calling for the government to take action to protect student renters, student workers and provide students with flexibility and choice on examinations
- We're writing to the Department for Work and Pensions to call for more financial support for students who are not able to work or have had their hours cut due to Covid-19
- We've had calls with representatives from the British Dental Association and Unison to further discuss issues around education, funding and fees for student dentists and student nurses and midwives arising from changes to courses in the next few months, to help inform the wider work we are undertaking on these issues. We are planning some further joint work with both organisations and other healthcare unions
- We received a reply from the NRLA regarding our demands for student renters. Eva has since issued a further reply and we have contacted the CMA
- We met with the OfS to feed into their effective practice briefing to universities regarding student renters
- We are working on a briefing for SUs regarding action they can take locally to protect student renters
- We are working with UNISON and the healthcare unions to lobby government regarding healthcare students and debt-write offs
- Liam McCabe, NUS Scotland President met with Scottish Government officials and raised discretionary payments to students, NUS Scotland's #NotStayingNotPaying campaign asks, and support for international students.
- We’ve been collecting case studies from student renters who are struggling as a result of Covid-19. If you know a student renter who wants to tell their story, contact Robert Murtagh
- We’re lobbying the Communities Committee today in advance of their meeting on Monday, talking to them about how students are falling through the cracks in support for the unemployed and renters.
- We're producing a template letter for students' unions to send to their local AMs and MPs on student housing issues
- Today the Welsh Government published in-depth FAQs on Higher Education and student support, with many of the questions based on our conversations included
- We sent an in-depth update to members in Wales setting out our actions and the latest coronavirus advice.
- International students will be severely affected by the current pandemic, whether that is because they are stuck in the UK due to travel restrictions or are unable to access online teaching in their home countries. To support all international students at this time we're hosting a Skype meeting on Tuesday 7 April from 3pm to 4pm to hear from you about the problems you are identifying on the ground, and any wins that you have had
- There's still time to get your students filling in our Coronavirus Student SurveyWe've had over 8000 students complete the which closes shortly. Full information including a promo pack is available, so let's give it a last promotional push with students!