Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/512/3455
Fight to save the NUS!
Oppose the right-wing attacks at the extraordinary conference
Students protest against fees
The National Union of Students (NUS) leadership has, over the last few months, launched two major attacks on the idea of NUS as a union that represents and fights for students.
Their education funding campaign proposes absolutely no action over tuition fees other than lobbying, right up until the eve of a vote on the issue in parliament in 2009.
The NUS governance review, proposes a series of structural changes to NUS which will make it impossible for ordinary students to have any decisive say in its running. Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser, explains how Socialist Students members are responding.
The NUS leadership, overwhelmingly Labour Party members, want NUS to become the equivalent of a charity that lobbies on behalf of students, rather than a student equivalent of a trade union. They have succeeded in undemocratically organising an extraordinary conference where they will attempt to push these attacks through which takes place in Leicester at the Athena Conference Centre, 10-5pm on 4 December.
Socialist Students are standing for election as delegates to the extraordinary conference in opposition to the governance review.
We are also proposing motions against the governance review in student unions. NUS can only be defended by involving ordinary students; talking to them about how we can stop the endless attacks on students and the need for a national student organisation to lead this campaign.
Only by winning the mass of students to a programme for national action against fees and scrapping this governance review, can we defeat these attacks on student democracy. Our delegates at the conference will represent all those students who oppose fees and stand for free education but feel excluded from this debate about NUS's future. Socialist Students societies at Leicester and Nottingham Trent are organising a protest at the extraordinary conference to highlight the need for a campaigning and democratic NUS.
Thousands of students this term have signed and supported the Campaign to Defeat Fees petitions, calling on NUS to organise mass national action against fees immediately, rather than waiting until 2009. If the NUS leaders are still unwilling to take action, CDF will continue to take the initiative!
Join the Campaign to Defeat Fees national day of action next term on 21 February.
We will contact student unions and activists for their support and participation. We want to unite to build action against fees and show a glimpse of what a nationally organised fightback by the NUS could be capable of with protests in universities, colleges and schools across the country.
If you want to join this day of action by mobilising students, getting your student union to back the day of action and getting involved in the Campaign to Defeat Fees contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8558 7974.
In The Socialist 29 November 2007:
Environment and socialism
What we think
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Marxist analysis: history
Workplace news and analysis