By Jacquelynne Poutney
The National Union of Students (NUS) hold a range of conferences throughout the year, personalised to the various areas that NUS deal with to support and represent students. This particular conference was aimed at course representatives throughout the North, to demonstrate how the individual work of a course rep is seen on a larger scale and how this work, however seemingly small scale, is affecting strategy and even government policy. The conference was also held to show just how fundamental the course rep system is to the NUS and the many different ways it is implemented across different institutions.
The day was host to a range of different sessions and workshops, from policy to quality. Despite the choice of sessions, however, there was a continuous sense of unity and togetherness amongst the participants. Even though they came from many different institutions, the entire room realised that everyone faced the same issues in the experience of being a student, regarding policy both at university and on a national level, affecting everything from feedback to the scrapping of NHS bursaries.
It seemed the main aim of the day was to bring like minded people together to interact with the work NUS do in representing students. The day most definitely succeeded in putting league tables and typical university rivalry aside and in making everyone realise that the same battle is being fought. That together the experience of education can be changed and improved and this would be the only way to prevent the further commodification of education. By raising their own profile and encouraging them to become more politically active, students will become a group political parties simply cannot neglect and discriminate against.
The day ended on three main points: get voting, get political and, of course, quality doesn’t grow on fees!
To find out more about the National Union of Students and the services they offer, see the NUS website.