Scottish student leaders defeat grants demand

March 27, 1998

The leadership of the National Union of Students Scotland has fought off an attack on its student support campaign.

An amendment by Glasgow Caledonian University, which accused the union of betraying students and demanded a return to its commitment to retaining student grants, was defeated at the NUS Scottish conference in Erskine.

Instead, delegates backed a motion from the Scottish executive committee opposing tuition fees, and demanding that the one-year fee waiver for Scottish students taking a four-year honours degree be extended to students from elsewhere in the United Kingdom.

Labour students Richard Baker and Thomas Docherty were elected unopposed as next year's president and depute president, with two Labour students and four independents taking the other executive places.

Current president Shamin Akhtar is ending her term in upbeat mood, optimistic about a forthcoming referendum on NUS membership resulting from the anticipated merger of Moray House Institute of Education, a member, and Edinburgh University, which is not affiliated to the union. "It is going to be clear that the only organisation that is truly representative of further and higher education in Scotland is NUS," she said.

* NUS conference preview, page 8

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