Students from all over the UK gather at the NUS National Conference to create change. Students debate, discuss, and vote on topics that are important to them during National Conference. The decisions made at conference establish NUS UK policy, which is then utilised by elected officers to create campaigns and effect change. 

Today, your Sabbatical Officer, Carrie Lee, and FE President, Abby Foster-Nicholson, attended the NUS National Conference at the Harrogate Convention Centre, to talk about the issues students are currently facing, the potential solutions to these problems and suggested NUS policies.  

Just like you vote to elect your Students’ Union Executive Committee, the priority ballot held by the NUS was the decider of the policy proposals to be discussed. Conversations were rich, voices were loud, issues were shared, and unions were united. Find out more about the five policies proposed below, followed by a word from your Sabbatical Officer. 


The education system is becoming increasingly inaccessible for a number of learners; from Further Education funding being cut for those over 18, apprentices being paid an unliveable wage, and Higher Education loans seeing real-terms cuts year on year. 

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here

International Students

International students must go through a difficult visa process that classifies them as "immigrants," are only allowed to work 20 hours per week and placed on a student visa, whilst being required to pay costly tuition fees because international students are not covered by the tuition fee cap.

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here

NUS Organising, Transparency and Democracy

The NUS currently seems to lack transparency. Some of the tools for accountability and transparency outlined in the NUS governing statutes are not being used. Some mechanisms are so vague that it is impossible to determine whether they are taking place. A transparent NUS increases student awareness of what the NUS is doing and how to actively participate in national advocacy. 

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here

Tackling the Cost-of-Living Crisis 

Students in the UK are finding it difficult to survive the cost-of-living crisis. They struggle to afford travel to get to class, heat their houses, and put food on the table. Even when obtaining all available financial aid and putting in long hours at their jobs, students are dropping out of school because they cannot pay necessities. 

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here


At the core of all the proposals is the need to address spiralling accommodation costs via rent controls and improve both the quality and supply of student housing. The proposals point to a student housing crisis exacerbated by the cost-of-living crisis, over-recruitment by universities, and exploitative behaviour by landlords. 

You can download the full set of submissions on this topic here

A word from your Sabbatical Officer

As we began to recover from the immediate effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were confronted with a new crisis: the cost-of-living crisis. Every single one of us, especially students, has felt the effects of this in some way. As a result, there has never been a more crucial time for student voice than now, and I want to extend my gratitude to the NUS for their recognition of the significant impact the crisis is having on students, and their commitment, and ongoing campaigning. As the Students' Union's lead representative, I have worked closely with B&FC colleagues to ensure that we can offer more support to our students than ever before - free breakfasts, free gym membership, free sanitary products, additional HE Hardship funding, and after-hours enrichment so you use our electricity rather than yours. I promise I won’t stop here. I will continue to build on the support, create partnerships and opportunities, and strengthen our partnership with the NUS as we support and champion one another – union to union.