Delegates prepare for NUS conference, the largest UK student gathering of the year

THE NATIONAL Union of Students has published the full list of motions and amendments, which will be discussed at their annual national conference.

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The conference, scheduled for the 19th-21st of April, is the largest democratic gathering of students in the UK and will be attended by representatives from universities and colleges from the entire nation. The conference allows students, through their representatives, to have a say in NUS policy – both political and operational, which will decide the organisation’s agenda and organisation for the years to come.

The policy debates, which this year consist of 98 regular motions in addition to sub-motions and amendments, are divided into six categories: priority, education, welfare, union development, society and citizenship and the annual general meeting zone, which discusses operational policy for the NUS. These categories cover a wide variety of issues, from the war in Syria to supporting trade unions, and funding for NUS officers to travel the country and work with individual unions.

This year a number of themes have emerged in the policy proposals. Particularly prominent themes addressed in a number of motions are: supporting student unions; the treatment of education as product; as well as welfare and benefit cuts. Political issues are also prominent among the issues being discussed, in particular the treatment of migrants and refugees, mental health, the NHS, and the governments controversial “PREVENT” scheme aimed at tackling extremism in educational settings.

The last section of the conference, which is the annual general meeting for the NUS, addresses organisational and operational issues. This year this section includes a proposal for a full time mature students and postgraduate officer, as well as one for a full time trans officer. Additionally an autonomous trans liberation campaign has been proposed, which would be separate from NUSLGBT+. This section also includes proposals designed to give everyday students more of a say in the actions of the NUS, as well as proposals to make conference easier to attend and encourage regional organising. Also included in this section is Motion 714, which encourages the NUS to conducts its business in Welsh and adopt it as a second language, a move designed to; “…ensure parity for Welsh students’ unions with other UK based students’ unions with regards to access and support from NUS UK.”

Aberystwyth will be sending three delegates to the conference, as elected by students this year. They are Lewis Donnelly, Hannah Merrigan and Ieuan Gregory.

The list of motions in full is available on the NUS website.