In 2012, the National Union of Students (NUS) conference mandated the union to call a national demo to launch the fightback against the government’s attacks on education. In 2013, free education and demands for the reinstatement of EMA were voted down. What happened to provoke such a U-turn?
Ronnie Smith, Sheffield Socialist Students
The NUS leadership failed to properly build support for the national demo in 2012. The 2013 NUS conference was then led by the right-wing New Labour leadership who, through buzzwords and empty rhetoric, whipped up a defeatist attitude and anti-left sentiment on conference floor.
The NUS leaders claimed that “free education will prop up privilege”. Neil Moore, Belfast Met Students Union president and Socialist Students FE Block of 15 candidate, responded: “I dare you to come down to my college and say that, where free education
isn’t an ‘insult’, it’s a necessity for the poorest students to access education.”
Neil also spoke passionately in defence of EMA as a step towards living grants for all students also exposing the leadership’s promises to “investigate a better alternative to EMA” as lowly attempts to avoid action, making our union little more than a think-tank. » Read more..