NUS disaffiliation: The story so far

Three SUs have voted to disaffiliate and three have to remain

The University of Cambridge has today announced that it will remain in the NUS.

Following its referendum Cambridge voted not to disaffiliate from the union, joining the Universities of Exeter and Warwick as the only three to vote to remain.

Tap or click to interact with the map. A green blip indicates an SU that is going to remain affiliated with the NUS, while red is indicative of disaffiliation. Yellow shows that a campaign for disaffiliation has started and blue shows an independent Union.

In the last few months the affiliation of universities up and down the country has been called into question. The skepticism around the NUS augmented greatly after the appointment of controversial president elect Malia Bouattia last month. Her use of anti-Semitic language has been used as a central focus for many of the national leave campaigns.

28.76 per cent of students turned out to vote in Cambridge- a record percentage at the university– with only 300 votes separating the Yes and the No campaigns. 3183 students voted ‘no’ when asked, ‘should CUSU disaffiliate from the National Union of Students?’

Cambridge followed the example of the University of Exeter who, on the 13th of May, voted to remain in the NUS. Seen as a pivotal university for the NUS to retain, the referendum was won for the Remain campaign by 144 votes. Warwick also held a referendum in May with the remain campaign winning with 63.4 per cent of the vote.

The developing trend for narrow victories in these three universities suggests that the impending referendums will also be close. In the coming months the universities of Nottingham, Oxford, and York will also vote.

The first university to leave the NUS was Lincoln at the beginning of May. Only 77 votes separated the two campaigns with the current NUS president, Megan Dunn, commenting that she was concerned that a decision was made by such a small number of students. She did, however, note that the opportunity to affiliate in the future would always be there.

Following Lincoln, the universities of Newcastle and Hull also disaffiliated.