Oxford students vote to remain in NUS

Institution's union joins Cambridge and others in staying affiliated in wake of Malia Bouattia’s election

June 3, 2016
Malia Bouattia
Source: Alamy

Students at the University of Oxford have voted to remain affiliated to the National Union of Students, joining unions at a number of other institutions including the University of Cambridge.

In a referendum on Oxford University Student Union’s membership of the NUS, called in the wake of Malia Bouattia’s election as national president, 57 per cent of voters supported remaining in the union, with 40 per cent backing disaffiliation.

Ms Bouattia, who unseated serving president Megan Dunn at the NUS’ annual conference in April, has faced accusations of anti-Semitism – which she vehemently denies – and has been criticised for sharing a platform with the controversial advocacy group Cage. Ms Bouattia’s election also marked a significant step to the left for the NUS, and concerns have been raised about whether the national organisation represents the views of the majority of students.

Richard Brooks, the NUS’ vice-president (union development), said that the union would respond to these concerns.

“We have a lot of work to do, but we are already developing a new democratic structure and look forward to OUSU being part of this process,” Mr Brooks said. “Concerns have been raised by Oxford students about anti-Semitism within NUS, and these will not be ignored. We take these concerns seriously, and we will act on them.”

Cambridge students had previously voted to stay affiliated to the NUS, with 52 per cent of students in favour of continued membership and 47 per cent against.

Alongside the country’s two most prestigious universities, students at the universities of Warwick, Exeter, Surrey and Essex have voted to stay with the NUS, while students at the universities of Lincoln and Hull and Newcastle University have voted to leave.

More votes are expected in coming weeks at institutions including the universities of York and Nottingham, and Durham University.

Ms Bouattia will be the NUS’ first black female president, but the disaffiliation votes will mark a major challenge for the start of her term in July, with every union that leaves costing the national organisation in subscription fees.

chris.havergal@tesglobal.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

Laurel and Hardy sawing a plank of wood

Working with other academics can be tricky so follow some key rules, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford will host a homeopathy conference next month

Charity says Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford is ‘naive’ to hire out its premises for event

women leapfrog. Vintage

Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O’Gorman offer advice on climbing the career ladder

Woman pulling blind down over an eye
Liz Morrish reflects on why she chose to tackle the failings of the neoliberal academy from the outside
White cliffs of Dover

From Australia to Singapore, David Matthews and John Elmes weigh the pros and cons of likely destinations