University of London battle over students' union

Students’ unions from across London have created a new body that could replace the University of London Union (ULU), aiming to stop the university from taking over union buildings.

August 8, 2013

The London Union of Students has been set up to represent students in the capital after university leaders voted to shut ULU in May.

It followed a working review which said ULU was duplicating many of the services provided by individual members of the University of London and did not justify the £800,000 it received in annual subscriptions.

Voter turnout was also very low, with only 3,000 out of 120,000 students voting in last year’s university-wide elections for union officers, the review said.

However, representatives from 11 London-based higher education institutions have now formed a new executive board of the London Union of Students, which could take over from ULU, due to close at the end of 2013-14.

Universityof London colleges represented include University College London, Goldsmiths, Heythrop, Royal Holloway, King’s College London and Queen Mary, while London Metropolitan University is also represented.

ULU president Michael Chessum, who was elected to LUS’ new executive at a meeting on 31 July, said the relationship between the new organisation and ULU had yet to be decided, though officers at ULU have been heavily involved in its creation.

“LUS could lay claim as successor to ULU’s headquarters on Malet Street, and the creation of LUS is part of a strategy to save the ULU building and retain it as democratically run and in student hands,” Mr Chessum said.

He added the group’s founding strategy document, which is due to be discussed at the executive’s first meeting, would state its commitment to social justice, including fighting for decent and affordable housing, defending the NHS; the environment; workers’ rights; students’ rights at work; and access to education.

LUS has also resolved to formally write to the National Union of Students (NUS) to request two observers from its National Executive Council to supervise the formation of the group, while LUS will submit funding proposals to students’ unions and other potential donors in the autumn term.

jack.grove@tsleducation.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 6 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

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together

man with frozen beard, Lake Louise, Canada

Australia also makes gains in list of most attractive English-speaking nations as US slips