NUS furthers mission to politically activate studentsBy Editor
The NUS has been very busy recently. After releasing their 'New Deal for the next Generation', a manifesto which has been created to outline the demands of students registered to NUS, they have now instigated the NUS' Voter Registration toolkit.
The toolkit has been implemented to 'help students’ unions communicate the move to individual and online voter registration to their students as effectively as possible.' It includes: 'activation ideas, downloadable posters, leaflets and web graphics, social media messaging and more.'
Toni Pearce, NUS President, has pushed the initiative, which has been referred to as 'Generation Vote', as she believes the undergraduates and young graduates have the ability to swing the general election of May next year.
According to the NUS, 'there are 197 seats with a majority of 10 per cent or less, requiring a swing of only 5 per cent to change hands' and with only 44% of 18-24 year olds voting in the last election, there is a definite chance the students will have some level of sway.
This is why the National Union of Students decided to create their manifesto, which is divided into three areas: education, work and community.
Some demands of education include:
'We want government to phase out tuition fees and restore public funding to universities.
We’re calling for a new postgraduate funding system that removes the financial barriers to study and puts the diverse needs of students first.
We want political parties to commit to creating a new and better Education Maintenance Allowance so that disadvantaged students in further education can thrive and reach their potential.'
Some demands of work include:
'We want the next government to guarantee paid work or training for every person aged 16–24 who is out of work, matched to their skills and interests.
We want political parties to commit to include a requirement in all government contracts that all delivery companies must create a set number of new jobs and opportunities for young people in proportion to the contract size.
We want the next government to develop and fund an independent statutory careers information, advice and guidance system that is integrated across schools, colleges training providers and universities.'
Some demands of community include:
'We are calling on political parties to repeal the Lobbying Act and to strengthen protections for citizens who want to engage in peaceful protest so that nobody ever has to be afraid of speaking up.
We want political parties to commit to making proper provisions for elected representatives to be kicked out of office when the people who put them there believe they have not lived up to their promises.
We want political parties to show they care what young people think by committing to lowering the voting age to 16.'