Push for policy change

April 18, 2003

The gist of Phil Baty's article on National Union of Students funding policy ("NUS left forces a U-turn on grants", THES , April 4) is spot on, but he blurs an important detail.

When Labour Students persuaded the NUS conference to abandon its support for universal grants in 1996, the new policy was not the support for means-tested grants that this year's conference overturned, but acceptance of the complete replacement of grants with student loans.

It was only in 1999, after three years of pressure from the Campaign for Free Education, that the NUS leadership began to call for "targeted" grants.

Now that the NUS once again supports grants for all, the CFE will be campaigning to ensure that this policy is implemented.

Alan Clarke
NUS national executive committee and Campaign for Free Education

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