The Independent, 13th March 2017
Tom Harwood, who has announced that he will run against Malia Bouattia for the presidency of the NUS, has attacked the student union as having “been hijacked by a cabal of people who all think the same way”.
He has described the leadership as “from quite an extreme end of far-left politics”, and appealed for students to “drag the NUS back to the centre so that it can speak for all students”.
Mr Harwood, 20, an NUS delegate at the University of Durham, won his university campaign by promising to defeat Isis using NUS boycotts and to lower the price of Cadbury Freddos to 10 pence. His campaign attracted national attention for its satirical policy proposals and his public dislike of NUS president Ms Bouattia.
Continue reading NUS Presidential candidate claims the far left have ‘hijacked’ the student organisation
The Telegraph, 23rd January 2016.
It’s around this time every year when final-year students at British universities are sent a survey to fill in, which measures ‘student satisfaction’ with their education at the end of their degrees. The survey data, which is collected independently by Ipsos Mori, feeds into a number of university rankings, alongside other information such as the cost of courses, graduate employment opportunities and the student-to-staff ratio.
This year, the NUS is running a campaign to encourage students not to fill in their forms, as part of its protest against the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which will offer some universities the opportunity to raise their tuition fees. The TEF will use the results of the National Student Survey (NSS) as part of an aggregate rating it will give to universities – either gold, silver or bronze – the better universities will be allowed to charge more.
Continue reading The NUS’ survey boycott is rash and destructive – it should reconsider or risk betraying its members
Cherwell, 20th May 2016
In a new development this morning in the battle over Oxford’s referendum on NUS membership, questions have been raised over the overnight increase in Facebook likes on the ‘Yes to NUS Oxford’ campaign’s page.
The page, which as of 17.30 on May 20 had 2,100 likes, gained 1,144 in the week commencing May 16 and over 800 on May 20 alone. As the graph below shows, the majority of that number was gained overnight on the May 19, giving the page a boost of 92 per cent on the previous week’s gain. This amounts to five likes a minute.
Research by Cherwell found that only 656 people who have liked the page have established countries on their Facebook profiles, according to a social media analytics site, contributing less than 40 per cent of people who have liked the group.
Séan Ó Néill, Yes to NUS social media manager said, “We are as amused as anyone to see these numbers. We’ve contacted the RO and are working out how best to make sure that all our support is as genuine as the support we have from liberation groups, the OUSU President, Target Schools, and so many more.”
The addition of such a number of likes in a short space of time also raises questions about the expenditure of the Yes to NUS campaign, which according to OUSU Standing Orders is capped at £230.
The controversy comes just days after the formal appointment of ‘No Thanks, NUS’ to lead the no vote side and ‘Yes to NUS’ to argue for remaining in the national union.
The appointment of the campaigns marks a two week long campaigning period before the referendum in sixth week.