Triumphant Fletcher is re-elected to lead NUS

April 8, 2005

Kat Fletcher was returned in triumph as president of the National Union of Students this week, securing four times the number of votes of her nearest rival.

It was a ringing endorsement of Ms Fletcher's first year in office after she scraped to victory last year by just two votes. At the NUS conference in Blackpool this week, Ms Fletcher received 536 votes, Suzie Wylie 103 and Michael Champion 76.

Ms Fletcher, who admitted that she was overawed at the level of support, told The Times Higher : "For the support in student unions up and down the country to translate into that sort of a vote in a national conference is certainly something I have not seen in the NUS.

"I think I have delivered some substantial changes this year and that is mainly what saw me through the election."

The NUS remains opposed to tuition fees, including the Government's top-up fees plans, but some delegates argued that as paying customers students now had more power to demand improved facilities.

Arguing the point, Jerrold Bennett, president of Bristol University student union, said: "Education should be free, but we are not going to get it as it is two years too late."

Conference passed a motion to continue the campaign against tuition fees, but plans to hold a first term national demonstration were narrowly voted down.

Delegates also took a stand against the course closures being carried out at many universities across the UK. A motion was passed supporting the formation of a national coalition, including lecturing unions, to campaign against course closures.

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