Candidates for Vice President HE

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio

University of Bristol Students' Union

Sajjad Hossain

London South Bank University Students' Union 

Ross Loveitt

University College Birmingham Guild of Students

Maisie Sanders

Birkbeck College Students' Union 

 

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, University of Bristol Students' Union

 

My name is Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, and I’m running to be your next Vice President for Higher Education. I firmly believe that education should be free, accessible and open to all, with students from all backgrounds and identities being able to engage with and shape the education they deserve. Students should be at the centre of their education, not viewed as metrics in a market. For a voice that will fight for an education system that puts students first and ensures NUS is fighting for this vision over these crucial next 2 years, Vote Hillary #1 for VP HE.

Nominated by Precious Tatah, The Students' Union at UWE: Ancha Joof, University of West London Students' Union; Deborah Atilade, Bournemouth University Students' Union; Harry Riley, Bangor University Students' Union; Theresa Ogbekhiulu, Swansea University Students' Union; Andrew Wilson, Edinburgh University Students' Association; Eve Alcock, University of Bath Students' Union; Amina Kaloko, University of Bristol Students' Union; Hannah Prydderch, Lancaster University Students' Union

Social media:

  • Facebook: Hillary Gyebi-Ababio
  • Twitter: @hillarygyebi
  • Instagram: @hillarygyebi

Manifesto:

Hillary for HE  #WeMove 

I just took a DNA test, turns out, I’m 100% standing for VP HE.  

NUS has been in survival mode for the last few years, but as the dust settles on reforms, it’s time to start thriving. I have the ENERGY, DRIVE and VISION to build a movement that fights for student rights, decolonises our institutions and amplifies the student voice. 

It’s time to bring some LIFE back into the HE role. It’s time we MOVE. 

THRIVING NOT SURVIVING 

We’ve got BME attainment firmly on all HE targets - but we can’t stop there.  

Develop Decolonisation – Support campaigns that tackle not just decolonizing the curriculum, but decolonizing the fight against the climate crisis, diversifying staff bodies and introducing mandatory race equity and accountability training. 

Fairer funding – Demand reforms to student finance to guarantee a minimum student income that covers costs and enables everyone to study free from poverty. 

Alternate Avenues – Lobby for more funding for degree apprenticeships and small and specialist institutions to support underrepresented groups in accessing HE. 

RIGHTS OVER RICHES 

Education should be a RIGHT, not a paid-for privilege – support for students means the market has to go. 

Strengthen Solidarity – Collaborate with unions such as UCU, on fair admissions, bettering staff conditions, and fully funding mental health services on campus for both staff and students and put pressure on institutions to resolve strike disputes swiftly. 

Addressing Access - Secure regulatory criteria across the Nations for the disabled student provision - both physically and digitally - so that disabled students can access their education with dignity. 

Tighten Transparency – Work with SUs to bring in legislation to ban hidden course costs, fully fund independent sexual harassment complaints procedures to support women and LGBT+ students and ban the use of NDAs, which silence students. 

"Hillary is 100% the best candidate for NUS VP Higher Education. She has an incredible gift to listen well, make sound judgments, and informed decisions. From SUs to government, people will want to listen to what she has to say. For a sector that listens to students and an education system that works for all, Hillary is the one to vote for, #1 for VPHE” - Kwame Kwarteng, General Secretary at Uni of Manchester SU 

VOICES NOT METRICS 

University and College managers chase metrics at the expense of true student satisfaction. SUs have to be at the heart of turning the tide.  

Tackle TEF – Scrap TEF and develop a new approach that puts collaboration and actual teaching quality first.  

No to NSS – Shape the review of the NSS to develop new ways of engaging students on the areas of the student experience that matter to them.  

Recharge Reps – Create a national standard for student representation that gives students a voice from the classroom to the Cabinet and demands that universities invest in support for student reps.  

BRIDGES NOT BORDERS 

The Brexit debate is far from over; we need to fight to ensure that this government doesn’t rob us of an international future: 

Save Study Abroad – My message to the government is clear: The Erasmus programme must be protected. At. 👏 All. 👏 Costs. 👏  

Fight Fees - Fight for more scholarships and bursaries for international students, and limit international fee increases to avoid universities using international students as cash cows. 

End the hostility – Safeguard the ability for refugees, asylum seekers and those from extreme poverty to have the opportunity to learn and thrive throughout our entire education system. 

“Hillary is the most positive, proactive and powerful person I know. She champions marginalised voices at every level and has a track record of making systemic and meaningful change. For an FTO who is less talk and more action, vote Hillary”  
- Sally Patterson

VOTE HILLARY #1 VP HIGHER EDUCATION 

FIND ME AT: 

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Sajjad Hossain London South Bank University Students' Union 

 

Sajjad for the radical new leadership which the student movement disparately needs!! I am the Re-elected Vice President Education at London South Bank University Students’ Union and I am here to be your next VP HE to change the HE sector directly relating to the students and widely impacting student’s educational experience across the country. My student priorities to implement a student’s centric strategy which includes to raise the standard of privity, equity and quality of higher education by initiating a collective voice principle to solve the persistent problems faced by the current SU’s in the country.

Nominated by: Aarish Hyder, Kent Union; Subramanian Nithya, Cranfield University Students' Association; Karaen Maniar, London South Bank University Students' Union; Anisuzz Zaman, University of Birmingham Guild of Students; Sajia Afreen, GCU Students' Union; Ahmad Ikram, Union of Kingston; Moosa Mahmood Baharmoos, University of East London Students' Union

Social Media: 

Information requested but not provided by deadline

Manifesto:

My name is Sajjad Hossain- contesting for the NUS VP HE. I am the Re-elected Vice President of Education at London South Bank University Students’ Union. Our education should be right and accessible for all. It’s not just about getting in, it’s about how you are getting on. I believe the university should be transformable and adaptable to the diversity of students, we want to cater to their best ability to uphold the standard of education for the students bearing in mind the student’s comfort to adapt to the environment. Further on, we want to develop a educational system that works with everyone. 

My campaign priorities-  

  • Saving student money- abolishing hidden course costs, campaigning for free graduation ceremonies 

  • Fighting for student success in HE (attainment gaps, employability, mental health) 

  • Leadership on Brexit as EU students have been thrown into uncertainty 

  • Keeping and promoting outward mobility and Erasmus scheme 

  • Supporting international students, campaign against home office hostile immigration policy for international students- fighting against deportation 

  • Decolonisation of education 

  • Campaigning for free education 

  • Fee disparity USS strikes- supporting staff compensation for strikes 

  • Lobbying the government to change the consumer rights law to exclude industrial action from force majeure for universities 

My experience-  

As Vice President of Education, I have achieved some big campaigns at my SU such as: 

  • Lecture Capture for all the classrooms 

  • A standard assessment and feedback criteria for all the courses across the university 

  • Abolishing hidden course costs 

  • Digitalise course-rep system 

  • Extension of library opening hours 24/7 during exams 

  • Closed BME attainment gap 

  • Employed 24/7 Residence Wellbeing manager at our Halls of Residence 

  • Currently negotiating with the university to reschedule the graduation ceremony in summer and making it free for all of our students. 

I have extensive experience as a student, SU education officer and had been NUS delegate and participant to EU’s youth leadership projects that I believe we can form a strong coalition that is much needed towards the path of modernised education as a principle of my fight to win. My activism to this movement will be to lead, initiate and implement new strategies that will provide the desirable results that I have proposed and make sure that it reaches its conclusion. Let’s collaborate together to make this cause a reality by performance. 

My Aim- 

The basis being a diversified university that approaches the demographic of the students that justifies the legitimately approach in confidence of the students. Support me and we will develop and demonstrate a stronger national union that will be ready to take on any challenges and lead the union to its new horizons to the path towards a new pragmatic system of education that everyone requires and those who deserve. I look to bridge the attainment gap in the system to ensure fairness in education to liberalise teaching and improving learning environment. I want to fiercely restructure the sponsorship and fees and make the flow of cost transparent. These costs incurred by students for their education maximise their capability to achieve higher results and be more employable to offset the incurred cost on their education. 

Support SU’s in resulting campaigns and promoting new job to fill vacancies and helping universities to develop and run new courses efficiently. I want to campaign to introduce a robust plan to eradicate disparity in fees and stop competition among universities bearing in mind the clarity in the goal which is to promote effective education rather than raging disappointment. I want to develop a suitable framework for inclusivity and eradicating hostile environments in institution. 

I want to secure international students from being treated as cash cows to universities and reformulating government regulation and policies that works in the best interest to both students and universities. Brexit is being an uncertain reality to the EU students. Onerously we students together can have a stronger negotiating agenda to mitigate the risks and ill effects of Brexit upon the EU students as I reignite and resolute my strongest will to support the EU students in the cause for their future. I am proudly thankful for receiving this opportunity and sustaining colossal courage to present and preview my beliefs and propose campaigns. I greatly believe in you to support me in this journey of change which wouldn’t occur without your loving support and vote. Vote for Education, Vote for me. 

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Ross Loveitt University College Birmingham Guild of Students

 

NUS is changing - but education is too. The boundaries between FE and HE are increasingly blurred, apprentices fall between the cracks. But NUS hasn’t caught up. It never will, if it leaves the majority of members out of decision making. We cannot have an NUS where only the largest, richest unions are represented. That is why I’m standing. To lead by example, to ensure the voices of smaller institutions are heard, to bring my experience of taking UCB Guild from a University department, to an independent student-led Union, to the national movement. Vote Ross Loveitt #1 for VPHE.

Nominated by: Chris Black, Newman University Students' Union; Oliver MacKenzie, University of Manchester Students' Union; Emer O'Driscoll-Paton, Students' Union UCL; Paula Couto Rodriguez, University College Birmingham Guild of Students; Joe Wassell, Coventry University Students' Union; Danielle Gallagher, Aston SU; Joshua Williams, Birmingham Guild Students' Union; Evie Adams, Salford Students' Union; Zoha Shah, Leeds Trinity Students' Union

Social media

  • https://www.facebook.com/ross.loveitt
  • https://uk.linkedin.com/in/ross-loveitt-4b5097106
  • https://twitter.com/rossloveitt
  • https://www.instagram.com/ucbguildpresident/?hl=en

Manifesto:

Ross Loveitt 

Number 1 for VP HE 

  • Broaden The Conversation 

  • Taking on Technical 

  • Beyond HE Policy 

Why I’m Running 

If it wasn't for my students' union, I wouldn't still be in education, let alone the President of UCB Guild. It's a story told so commonly at NUS Conference that you can feel eyes rolling just reading it.  

But this isn't the X Factor. It's not a story told to win votes. It's the truth for students like us up and down the country. Unions like ours really do change lives. Yet this approach to making change for students hasn't been finding its way into NUS.  

Previously, we've been forgotten about, looked down upon and pushed aside. It's part of why so many of us have been so unhappy with NUS for the past few years. 

But NUS is changing - and we have a chance to shape it for the better. I truly believe in the power of our national union. I'm passionate about it, I care about it and I want to help it be the best possible NUS I know it could be. 

That's why I'm running to be VP HE. 

I’ve not just led my Union – we made one! 

When I started at UCB Guild, the union was a department of the University. Working with an amazing team of students, we've created a fully independent student-led students' union. 

I know the struggle of creating a new union from scratch. I won't just put it to use in shaping a new look NUS - we'll support your unions, so many of which are in new institutions, to do this too. 

"Ross really understands how NUS can support and develop smaller SUs. That's why I'm voting him No 1 for VP HE." 

Zoha Shah President LeedsTrinity SU 

  1. Broaden the Conversation 

We have so much to learn from each other, but our national conversation has been too hostile for too long. 

I want to put collectivism back at the heart of NUS, and lead a national movement with the skills to hear as well as listen. 

Elect me and we’ll 

  • Create spaces where ALL unions can come together to learn from each other and build supportive communities 

  • Make sure NUS is doing less, better. I'll use my experience leading a small union to great things to ensure NUS is driving hard hitting campaigns that change student life for the better. 

  • Break the false distinction between FE and HE to ensure all of our students' unions are supported to work together. 

  1. Taking on Technical 

Institutions like UCB support students to become Michelin starred chefs, Olympic sports therapists and run award winning SMEs. More importantly - we give people a place to change their lives. But we're undervalued by our government, and undervalued in our movement too. 

Elect me and we’ll 

  • Campaign to change the ridiculous measures of graduate success that can be found across the sector, from the TEF to HESA data - It's nothing about the journey and everything about the destination. 

  • Work with SUs to explore what support you need from NUS to transform technical education. 

  • Be active with employers and trades unions to fight for the working rights of students across technical education routes, unionising students from day 1 and improving their conditions at college, university and in the workplace. 

  1. Beyond HE Policy 

Coming from a Union with only two full time officers, I understand how important it is to look after the widest range of your remit. We've made tough choices this year 

which means the VP HE cannot just look after education policy - I'll make sure of that. 

Elect me and we’ll 

  • Support the campaigns you pass at National Conference - from a Green New Deal to high quality student housing, NUS will be there fighting your battles. 

  • Make sure developing a strong autonomous voice for liberation is front and centre of NUS' work in the year ahead. 

  • Instagram: rossloveitt  
  • E-mail: r.loveitt@ucb.ac.uk 
  • Facebook: rossloveittvphe  
  • Twitter: rossloveitt 

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Maisie Sanders Birkbeck College Students' Union

 

Marketisation has dramatically weakened our student unions and NUS, turning them into inactive, apolitical, professionalised charities- just at the time when we most need a student movement to push back against university bosses and the government. Anti-democratic reforms passed at last year’s National Conference make this even worse.  The UCU strike gives us the strongest opportunity to defend education in a decade. We urgently need to turn our student unions into activist organisations, with NUS linking them up into a national movement that fights alongside trade unions for free education, decent working conditions and urgent action on climate change.

Nominated by: Elizabeth Yeates, University of Leicester Students' Union; Asanga Kasun Witana, Sheffield Hallam Students' UnionArranjit Rangi, Aston Students' Union; Daniel Davison-Vecchione, Cambridge University Students' Union; Justine Canady, Students' Union UCL; Catherine Nugent, Goldsmiths Students' Union; Alison Brown, Sheffield Hallam Students' Union; Andrew Peak, Oxford University Students' Union

Social media

  • https://www.facebook.com/maisie.dowdeswell

Manifesto:

I’m a part-time student at Birkbeck College in London. This year I have been building support for the UCU strike on my campus, setting up Birkbeck Students Support the Strike and helping to coordinate solidarity nationally, too, through Student Strike Solidarity. I’m an active member of the Labour Party and an activist in the revolutionary socialist organisation Workers’ Liberty. In 2018 I was one of the founders of the Student Left Network. Before that, I spent years fighting for free education with the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts – both as a student and a teacher, when I was also a member of the National Education Union.  

I’m standing for Vice President Higher Education to make the case for a radically different NUS. I want a national union that links up student unions across the country to fight marketisation, campus cuts and attacks on our living, working and studying conditions. A national union which also links up with the trade union movement to defend migrants, oppose austerity and fight the far right.  

Our movement needs to be democratic!  

This year’s National Conference will be the first since wide-ranging anti-democratic reforms were passed. Drawn up in hotel conference rooms by student union managers and Presidents, with barely any consultation, these reforms were designed to address a huge financial deficit and mass disengagement from NUS. But the reason for this crisis was years of failure by NUS to fight for students on the daily issues we face, and the bureaucratisation and depoliticisation of our student unions. The reforms will make this problem worse, not better.  

We urgently need NUS and our student unions to be engines for changing society. But to transform NUS into a political fighting force, students need to have real control over what our union says and does. We need more time for political debate and discussion at Conference, not less. We need a movement that is open to all students, not just a clique of sabbatical officers who, under the new rules, can bypass student councils to submit policy.  

Local student unions need to be transformed from apolitical, professionalised charities into organising centres for campaigning and direct action, with NUS linking them up into a national movement that’s not afraid to raise radical demands. We need student unions run by sabbatical officers and mass general assemblies, not managers and unelected trustee boards intent on making sure no one upsets senior management.  

The strength of our movement comes from political debate and the ability to campaign around our ideas in a way that empowers and mobilises tens of thousands of students, including mass demonstrations and direct action.  

Fight for free education 

Universities are being run more and more like businesses. Marketisation means overcrowded campuses, a lack of academic and pastoral support, soaring rents, a student mental health crisis and a bad deal for international students. For staff, it means job cuts, precarious contracts, overwhelming workloads. Management make cuts to our courses and staff while spending millions on shiny new buildings that look good on a prospectus. Recent cuts signal we are heading for a two-tier education system, where certain, less ‘employment driven’ subjects are the preserve of an elite.  

We can’t just wait for a Labour government to end marketisation and give us free education, funded by taxing the rich – we need to fight for it now! NUS must mobilise a movement from the bottom up to fight for a fully-funded, free and public education system, alongside adequate living grants and cheaper rent. To me, free education also means democratic institutions run by students, workers and the communities they serve; spaces for critical thinking, understanding society and how to change it; and for research that fulfils social need. I will unconditionally support education workers' struggles against neoliberalism and austerity in their sector, from outsourced cleaning workers on university campuses, to lecturers, to teachers in FE colleges and academies. 

Defend the right to protest  

From students suspended from studies for occupations in solidarity with staff, to racially-profiling government programmes like Prevent, our right to protest, organise and speak on campus is under serious threat. Our increasingly corporatised university administrations are determined to squash any form of militant protest, and more crackdowns look set to come from the government. NUS must demand “cops off campus”, fight positively for our right to protest and for freedom of speech, and bring the whole weight of the student movement behind defending students victimised by management for protesting.  

Organise to change the world 

As a socialist, I think the student movement should have a vital role to play in acting as spark and inspiration for the wider working-class movement in the fight against capitalism. I believe in linking up with trade unions to campaign for a socialist Green New Deal. I feel strongly about the need to stand up for reproductive rights and trans rights. Under this Tory government we need to campaign for freedom of movement and migrants’ rights. Why aren’t we organising trips to picket lines and demonstrations - our movement needs to up its game. Tweets and talking aren’t enough!  

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