Say No to NUS!

If you would like to register your wish to remain affiliated with NUS UK, or have any questions about this petition please send us an email:

Note: Please use your email below as proof of current student status.

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We, the undersigned, wish to disaffiliate from NUS UK, but keep our membership with NUS Charity. We recognise that if the threshold for 50 signatures is reached there will be a referendum held in September 2020. If we obtain over 150 signatures, this will forgo the need for a referendum and the disaffiliation will be approved.

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What is NUS UK?

“We know students. We are students. We are 7 million students.”

The National Union of Students was formed in 1922 and now has around 600 students’ unions affiliated, accounting for more than 95% of all higher and further education unions in the UK.

NUS UK champion students to shape the future of education – and create a better world. Education is the defining factor in creating a fairer, more prosperous society, and students are the hope for the future of education.

This is students driving change. This is making sure students can thrive. This is representing the realities of students’ lives.

What do we propose?

Disaffiliate from NUS UK, but keep our membership with NUS Charity… Confusing, right?

NUS is divided into two, one part being NUS UK and one part being NUS Charity.

What is NUS UK?

  • Costs 4/5 of our affiliation fee
  • Run the national campaigns
  • Provide unions with the materials to run these campaigns in their own SUs
  • Lobby the government
  • Gives SUs access to NUS Full-time Officers – for advice, SU visits, panels etc.
  • Run NUS Democracy and voting (eg.Voting for their officers, policies andcampaigns)
What is NUS Charity?

  • Run Officer Training for your SU team (that we have to pay for on top of the membership fee)
  • Offer legal briefings and advice (essential for a secure SU)
  • Purchasing Consortium (cheaper merchandise, bar stock, stationary etc.)
  • Offer SU Crisis Support
  • Access to membership admins (SU Development advice) and customer services

  • NUS UK represent 7 million students. They’re an incredibly strong student voice!
  • Throughout history they have run incredible campaigns, lobbying the government incredibly well. Currently the Student Safety Net campaign is being worked on, supporting students during the pandemic.
  • They are now coming out the other side of their financial crisis and have rebuilt the NUS UK system to be effective.
  • It’s important that Conservatoire SUs are part of the NUS UK, otherwise there’ll be nobody there representing our voices.
  • It’s a democracy and we can vote for new officers, campaigns and policies at NUS UK.
  • If we leave, we’ll no longer have access to NUS UK Full time officers, whether that be for advice or for them to visit TL eg. To gain student perspective, to give talks.
  • It feels a little like Brexit… Why leave a bigger, stronger force?
  • Our name will no longer be under any big NUS campaigns, letters to the government etc.
  • They have cut the affiliation fees next year. This year we were lucky to receive a discount of £2150.65 to £1344.23. Next year, our fee would be £1411.

  • A few years ago, NUS went into financial crisis of £3.6 million debt, cutting over half of their staff, including going from 20 full time officers to just 7, with five liberation officers down to just one.
  • Our main benefit of NUS this year, is apparently having a Membership Engagement Executive working closely and regularly with our SU team. This is no longer possible, as all staff in this position have been made redundant.
  • At a National Conference in 2019, NUS spoke outwardly in a derogatory and humiliating way towards Small and Specialist Institutions, offering no further apology or support.
  • Conservatoires UK Student Network are in agreement that NUS UK does not value or support Conservatoire SUs, as they make very little money from us, given we’re so much smaller than university students’ unions.
  • None of NUS’ work takes into account Conservatoire specific issues. It is notable that most of their Officers know very little, if anything at all, about Conservatoires and none of them have pledged to try any harder.
  • On informing NUS we were running this referendum, we were given some quick advice on how to go about it and haven’t heard from them since… if a university suggests the same, NUS make huge efforts to campaign and keep their unions on board, through close contact and press releases.
  • Given we are part of the Conservatoires UK Student Network, our campaigning, national force etc. comes from them, rather than NUS anyway.
  • We’re fortunate that by leaving, there’ll likely be no impact on the work NUS UK do and the changes they make for students nationally. We will still gain the benefits that come from NUS UK Campaigns/lobbying the government etc. despite our name not being under it.
  • We have a tiny SU budget (a small grant from TL to the SU every year) – we don’t want to waste it on NUS UK when we get very little from them. Paying for just NUS charity will only cost us £282.20.

Your SU Executive Committee no longer want to say Yes to NUS, but your voice needs to be heard too.

Did you know…?

Did you know that the reason students do not pay Council Tax is thanks to NUS securing an exemption in 1992?

Or that they negotiated with National Rail in 1974, to produce the Student Railcard (now Young Persons Railcard), leading to discounted travel for millions of students?

Or that they fought for taught postgraduate loans to be introduced for those aged 30 and under in 2014?

Or that they followed this with the #capsoff campaign in 2015, to ensure a taught postgraduate loan is available to those aged over 30 too?

Or that you can get your deposit back from your landlord much more easily due to the NUS Helping put the tenancy deposit scheme in the Housing Bill?