From education to employment

NUS applauds Liberal Democrat pledges

Students stood in a group

The National Union of Students (NUS) has welcomed the Liberal Democrat’s promises, delivered at their annual conference in Bournemouth, to reinstate maintenance grants for disadvantaged students and return to the Erasmus scheme. 

Other promises NUS are happy to see include annually increasing college and school funding per pupil above the rate of inflation, investing in new building and clearing the backlog of repairs to tackle the crisis of crumbling school and college buildings, and appointing a Cabinet member for Children and Young People. 

NUS UK Vice President for Higher Education, Chloe Field, said:

 “NUS has long highlighted the suffering of students due to a perfect storm of a cost-of-living crisis, spiralling inflation, burgeoning debt, and a broken student housing system. And make no mistake, this is all in direct consequence to, and is exacerbated by, a failed marketisation model whereby schools, colleges and universities are forced to compete over all-too scarce resources and students are viewed as cash cows.

We have called time and time again for action to be taken and the Government has ignored us. But so too has the opposition parties. The Liberal Democrats, to their credit have listened: however, students have been burnt by empty promises in the past. 

This set of Liberal Democrat policies is a welcome first step, but for meaningful change, we have to go further towards free education, high quality affordable housing and commitments to the rights of international students.

It is now for other parties to respond to the challenge and offer students and young people something to vote for. Students are increasingly politicised and angry, and it would be foolish for any politician or political party to take us for granted. 

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