National Union of Students

Workers' Liberty students - what we do, how to get involved

Published on: Thu, 18/10/2012 - 15:54

Why a revolutionary workers' organisation organises among students

Only the organised, mobilised working class can overthrow capitalism. But students, who represent the biggest collective concentrations of young people in this society, can play an important role - using our time and access to resources to think about the world, develop ideas and get politically educated; bringing spark and enthusiasm to campaigns and revolutionary organisation; getting organised to fight for our rights and linking up with workers in struggle. Often students have played a catalytic role for working-class

Graham Hellawell 1964-2019

Published on: Wed, 23/10/2019 - 08:50

Dan Katz

Graham Hellawell has died, aged 55.

Supporters and members of Workers’ Liberty may well remember Graham from when he took an active and leading part in the Campaign for Free Education in the mid-1990s.

As President of Huddersfield University Students’ Union, Graham helped to set up CfE. For a while the Campaign was a very large force inside the National Union of Students battling against the Blairites’ attempts to ditch free education policy.

Graham was also active in Unison, in health campaigns and in the fight against racism and fascism. In the 2001 General Election he stood as a Socialist

Markets, cuts, and education

Published on: Wed, 05/06/2019 - 11:59

Maisie Sanders

The Augar review into post-18 education and funding, commissioned by Theresa May last year, was released on 30 May.

As yet the government says only that it will “take very seriously the report’s proposals”. The report presents its aim as a more “accessible” system of higher and further education that provides “value for money” for both students and taxpayers and is more responsive to labour market demands.

University student numbers have continued to increase steadily since 2009-10, but there has been a sharp decline in students choosing higher-level technical qualifications (Level 4 and 5,

Undemocratic ban

Published on: Wed, 01/05/2019 - 13:08

Maisie Sanders

At the National Union of Students (NUS) conference (9-11 April), University of Bath student Zeid Truscott was disqualified from standing for the National Executive Council (NEC) on grounds of antisemitism.

The biggest issues here are of elections being controlled by full-time officials, of the NUS’s general shutting-down of democracy, and of the culture of responding to anything by “banning” rather than argument.

The Chief Returning Officer, who calls himself Jules “the rules” Mason, declared Truscott disqualified on grounds of antisemitic comments made at a Palestine Solidarity Campaign event

Different “lefts” at NUS conference

Published on: Wed, 17/04/2019 - 11:28

Maisie Sanders

The National Union of Student (NUS) Conference, 9-11 April in Glasgow, overwhelmingly voted through the biggest ever cuts to its democracy with the vocal support of the newly elected “left” leadership.

The reforms gut student control and entrench a right-wing vision of NUS as little more than a toothless lobby group.

But the Student Left Network produced a daily bulletin (picture is of it being given out!) and held regular left caucuses to campaign against the reforms and discuss the next steps in building a national, campaigning student movement and transforming NUS.

Left-wing motions were

Defend NUS democracy!

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:24

Maisie Sanders

This year’s National Union of Students (NUS) Conference in Glasgow (9-11 April), will be very different to previous years′. Elections will take place on the first day before motions debates begin, no official fringe meetings will take place due to "lack of funds for staff", and delegates will vote on a reform motion coming from the right-wing led by President Shakira Martin, which proposes scrapping all remaining structures which enable rank and file control of NUS.

The Student Left Network (SLN) has been opposing these reforms since they were first announced. The soft left in NUS are also

NUS left plans for 9-11 April

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 11:11

Maisie Sanders

Full details have been released of the cuts to democracy in the National Union of Students (NUS), which look set to block almost all remaining opportunities for ordinary students to control or influence what the union does.

NUS will be stripped back into a “lean campaigning machine” that scraps the majority of its committees to “ease the burden of participation” on members and lifts all the democracy from its conference to solve the problem of a lack of engagement. There will be fewer, shorter, less-political conferences. The five Liberation conferences (Women’s, LGBT+, Trans, Black, and

Stitch-up in Labour Students

Published on: Wed, 20/03/2019 - 09:28

Maisie Sanders

On paper, the Labour Party has 20,000 student members. But only 59 voting delegates attended Labour Students National Conference in Edinburgh on 24 February, representing a handful of Labour clubs.

The majority of the candidates on the unofficial “moderate” slate have been elected, despite the “Labour Students Left” slate, backed by Momentum, Open Labour and CLPD Youth, receiving many more nominations from clubs.

This year’s National Officer elections were the first to be conducted by OMOV (One Member One Vote). Numerous members complained on social media about the delay in sending electronic

Conference plans to reshape student movement

Published on: Thu, 07/03/2019 - 11:49

Maisie Sanders

Students from eighteen campuses across the UK gathered in Sheffield for the Student Left Network’s first national conference on 2-3 March to discuss reshaping the student movement.

Discussions included • the Tiananmen Square uprising, with a Chinese student Marxist; • fighting the far right and racism on campus, led by Kent Anti-Fascists • campaigning against campus cuts, led by Owen Hurcum from Bangor university’s campaign against the closure of the chemistry course and staff redundancies • universities and mental health with Steff Farley from Loughborough Campus Care not Campus Cops; and •

Essex University Jewish Society ban blocked

Published on: Wed, 27/02/2019 - 12:31

More than 200 students at Essex University voted against the formation of a Jewish Society. It’s the first organised attempt to stop or ban a Jewish Society on a British campus for decades.

There has been no explanation from any group of “activists” or students as to why there was a vote against the society. The university responded to outcry about the vote by short-cutting the usual procedure under which all new societies have to be approved by student ballot. To that date, some 64% of votes had been in favour of allowing the new society.

The whole procedure of student societies requiring a

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