NUS is a confederate association of around 600 students’ unions, representing the interests of more than seven million students.
Around 95 per cent of all students’ unions throughout the country are affiliated to NUS.
These range from those based at small specialist colleges through to general further education colleges, large universities and higher education colleges.
That diversity of members is NUS' strength. Collectively, students through their students’ unions invest in a national movement, able to assist individual students and students’ unions in taking control of their educational lives, campaigning to defend and improve their rights nationally.
In addition, NUS provides an infrastructure that helps individual students’ unions to undertake their own work supported by the research it carries out, the training, advice and information it offers, the materials it produces and the documents it publishes.
By affiliating to NUS, students' unions will have access to training and research, and discounts for students. There are plenty of reasons why you should affiliate to NUS.
Who can affiliate?
Your students’ union decides whether to affiliate to NUS based on the views of its individual members. Not all students unions are able to affiliate.
Only UK based students' unions whose institutions receive public funding for the provision of education and training of learners aged 16 and over are able to affiliate.
This institution could be a private training provider, a charity, a further education college (as defined by schedule 3 of the Instruments & Articles of further education colleges), school sixth form, college of higher education or university.
What types of membership are there?
There are four different types of membership with NUS.
- Constituent Membership
- Individual Membership
- Associate Membership
- Honorary Membership
Constituent Membership is open to any representative organisation, students’ union, students’ association, guild, common room or representative council in the UK to which all full-time students over 16 belong. The National Executive Council is also a Constituent Member of NUS.
Individual Membership is automatically conferred to any students and sabbatical officers whose institution is a constituent member. This type of membership also includes committee members, members of the National Executive Council and the sabbatical convenors of NUS Area Organisations.
Associate Membership is open to any national student organisations that have a substantial student membership and unite students for any purpose. It is also open to non-student organisations and individuals who have a common interest and sympathy with NUS.
Honorary Membership is granted to anyone, any person or organisation the Union sees fit.
How to set-up a students' union
There are many reasons why students may want to establish a students’ union. At one level they may just want to create a social focus on campus, at another level it may be out of concern for the way courses are being taught in the college and students want a body to make representations to the college authorities.