Two student unions have voted to remain affiliated to the National Union of Students, in spite of strong campaigns to go it alone.
Of the 2,400 students at Southampton University who took part, nearly 73 per cent voted to stay in the organisation. At Sussex, 63 per cent voted to stay.
Both student unions had been worried by the cost of the annual NUS membership fee, which runs into tens of thousands of pounds for the bigger unions.
This had prompted student leaders at Southampton to vote by a narrow margin over the summer to leave the NUS. But NUS officials insisted they put the decision to a referendum.