Fringe Sessions

During Conference there are a number of fringe events for delegates, observers and visitors to attend.

Fringes are a unique chance for delegates to learn about different organisations and campaigns and how to get involved.

Fringe sessions at National Conference 2017 are as follows:


Tuesday 27 March, 5.30pm - 6.30pm

Conspiracy Theory: A Lizard's Tale

Marlon's a Jew. This didn't bother him until he realised that some people he knew didn't believe the Holocaust happened. A darkly comic tale of one man's journey through the conspiracy underworld. Marlon examines why conspiracy theories are more popular than ever and how fake news gives rise to ancient slander. A comic tale which is no laughing matter.

Following its success at Edinburgh Fringe, Labour Party Conference and touring the UK, ‘A Lizard’s Tale’ is coming to NUS. Reported cases of antisemitism in the UK have increased, it’s our duty to educate ourselves to combat this.

Host: Union of Jewish Students

Room: Alsh 1

Stop Funding Hate

Since late last year, NUS has been working with Stop Funding Hate to encourage brands to consider the impact their advertisement funds have on divisive editorial content in UK newspapers.

We have been contacting our suppliers and commercial partners, encouraging them to review their advertising practices and to remove advertising funds from The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers -so as to stop indirectly funding hate-fuelled rhetoric. This is especially pertinent in the student movement where some of our own are constantly targeted, all for standing up for a better world.

Host:  NUS Union Development Zone

Room: Alsh 2

Poverty Commission

NUS' Poverty Commission aims to address the barriers working class students face in accessing and succeeding in post-16 education. Phase One of this ambitious project has involved gathering evidence to create recommendations for government, local authorities and institutions.

As we embark upon Phase Two – using this evidence to take action to make education truly accessible for you and the next generation to come – we need your input. Come along to the fringe to hear the findings, and have your say in shaping the next steps on a local and national level.

Host: NUS President

Room: Boisdale 1



Save Our NUS! - organising students to save local services

Our NHS is in crisis - funding cuts, privatisation and the tightening of eligibility criteria for who can access essential services. How do Students’ Unions and student groups work together to fight the closure of services such as A&E, walk in services and psychiatric services across the UK? We will explore how to organise students across FE, HE and Small and Specialist Institutions, and how to engage with liberation groups to address their specific issues as service users.

Host: NUS Disabled Students Campaign

Room: Boisdale 2

Resetting our relationship with Europe

Over the last 12 months NUS have been tirelessly making the case for protecting student mobility as the government negotiates Brexit. With Erasmus+ protected until 2020, we’ve already had wins. But with the future immigration status of EU students still unknown and no answers yet on fees and maintenance, there’s still more to be won.

SUs will play a crucial role in shaping the negative rhetoric around migration and making the case for mobility on our campuses and in our communities. In this workshop, we will explore what NUS have been up to over the last 12 months and will get SUs organising locally to protect students from the worst aspects of Brexit.


Host: NUS and European student leaders

Room: Carron 1

Free speech and apostasy on campus

How do we ensure that free speech is protected for the most vulnerable on campus who might otherwise fear speaking out against powerful institutions?

In this fringe we’ll draw on the experiences of Humanist Student Societies and Humanists UK’s Faith to Faithless programme, which supports individuals leaving high control religions and cults to explore the practical ways we can ensure our universities and colleges are places where freedom of speech, debate and constructive discussion is supported. Especially for those individuals breaking away from their traditional communities.

Host: Humanist Students

Room: Carron 2


Where next on #MyFEJourney?

College students and apprentices consistently tell us the biggest barrier to accessing education is travel.

Following our survey and launch of the campaign last year, in this, the FE zone will look at the evidence from students and apprentices and put forward our plans to fight for affordable, reliable travel for learners in each region of the UK.

Host:  NUS Further Education Zone

Room: Dochart 1


Civic reception for Friends of NUS

The Lord Provost's Office at Glasgow City Council are kindly hosting a reception for Friends of NUS on the first night of Conference.

This is an opportunity to meet up with other Friends, to catch up and reminisce and to hear from NUS about its current activities is a core part of the work of Friends of NUS.

Friends of NUS is the alumni association for those who have served either as elected officers or committee members or appointed staff of NUS. 

Host: NUS

Room: Dochart 2

Wednesday 28 March, 6pm - 7pm

Combatting Islamophobia: The Muslim Students’ Survey

Join us as we discuss the findings of the Muslim Students Survey conducted by the NUS Women's Campaign, the NUS Black Students Campaign and Federation of Student Islamic Societies. 

The research found 1 in 3 Muslim Students were victims of abuse or crime, 79% of which were Islamophobic incidents, that students were less likely to run for leadership positions due to Prevent and there was an alarming amount of students unsure if they trust NUS to handle complaints around Islamophobia.

Host: Ilyas Nagdee (NUS Black Students' Officer), Hareem Ghani (NUS Women's Officer) and Saffa Mir (VP Student Affairs, FOSIS)

Room: Alsh 2

Nations Reception

Awaiting synopsis.

Host: NUS

Room: Dochart 2

Trade Union membership on campus

Session from GMB about their scheme whereby SUs have been paying GMB in order to offer free trade union membership to all students should they choose. Benefits of the scheme, of trade unions and ways to grow the movement and the representation of student voice in industrial relations.

Host: NUS and GMB

Room: Boisdale 2

Plastic Free Campus

Plastics pollution is one the greatest threats facing our oceans and is set to treble in the next decade. It is time to go plastic free? This session will explore the single-use plastics challenge from the perspective of campaigners, governments, NUS and unions. The session will showcase a vision of a single-use plastic free society and detail the policy landscape around single-use plastics.

Host: NUS, Friends of the Earth, Zero Waste Scotland and DEFRA

Speakers: Julian Kirby, Friends of the Earth - Lead Campaign on plastic pollution and David Barnes, Zero Waste Scotland  - Programme Manager, Deposit Return Scheme and Extended Producer Responsibility 

Room: Carron 1

Bread and roses and starburst

Last year, the National Society of Apprentices (NSoA) launched their first liberation group. During this session, we’ll look at what Zuza, Hannah, Sarah and the other women in NSoA have been up to.

We’ll talk about the experience of women apprentices and have a conversation about how your unions can help apprentices too. We’re quite new to this so there will also be a bit of space for you to bring your top tips to us

Host: NUS

Room: Dochart 1

The next best thing!

We are Black Impact, a non-partisan youth organisation and our mission is to raise, train, support and empower Black students for leadership, political engagement and social activism.

This fringe session will be a joint event with the Global African Students Education Summit (GASES) and is open to all students.

We will eat and run a fun workshop session to develop ideas and engage students to become representatives, ambassadors and allies within HE and FE.

Host: Black Impact

Room: Boisdale 1

Wednesday 28 March, 8pm - 9pm

NUS Staff Trade Union Fringe

Hear from the returning / newly elected NUS President to address staff for the first time. Entertainment and refreshments will be provided and there will be fundraising activities.

Host: NUS Staff Trade Union

Room: Dochart 2

We've purposely not scheduled any fringe sessions over lunchtime in order to allow delegates the opportunity to take a break from Conference.

If you are a student group who would plan a meetup over lunch, please respect that delegates need time during the day to take a break.