Skye and Jon at NUS National Conference 2024 in Blackpool"Over the past few weeks, myself and our Officer Team attended the National Union of Students conferences for Scotland and then the whole UK. 

These conferences are a meetup of all the elected officers, student delegates, observers and NUS staff from across the country to discuss student issues and come up with a national plan. The NUS Scotland Conference took place over 2 days at the University of Stirling, and the NUS UK Conference took place over 2 days in Blackpool at the Winter Gardens venue, so there was plenty of travelling getting there and back!

As always there were very passionate discussions, and some heated debates, but most importantly a real genuine sense of disappointment in our governments.

With strikes taking place left, right, and centre, budget cuts happening every couple of months, and students absolutely exhausted of our current systems, It became abundantly clear that our education system is at breaking point and is no longer fit for purpose. 

Discussions ranged hugely from international student experiences, to housing, food and shelter, to the conflict in Palestine and NUS UK's first ever reserved policy space for Colleges.

Edinburgh College Delgation to NUS Scotland Conference 2024I was overjoyed to find out that NUS UK had its first ever reserved policy space for Colleges, and, from what I heard and witnessed, it was the most productive and positive conversation out of all that happened at conference in Blackpool, with colleges and apprentices finally getting acknowledged for all the hardship that they face.

We decided as a national student body with students all across England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland to specifically dedicate time to uplifting college and apprenticeship voices. Huge win! 

However, with that being said, we also came to the realisation that we as student officers can no longer do it alone and that we need to call upon our own student bodies on campuses to put pressure on the the Scottish Government, the Scottish Funding Council, the Westminster Government, and even our local Boards of Management to constantly be advocating for the betterment of our education system.

A lot of work to do, but a huge sense of solidarity across the country for the power of the student movement to move the dial.

With almost 500,000 students across Scotland and almost 6million across the UK, we have the ability to make change, not least in the upcoming elections."


Skye Marriner
President 2023-24

NUS UK Conference 2024 at Blackpool Winter GardensNUS Scotland Conference 2024 at The University of StirlingSkye with NUS UK Vice President of Further Education and other FE Delegates at NUS UK Conference 2024

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