The Guild are fighting the NUS to reduce our university fees

‘First Class degrees, shouldn’t rely on additional fees’

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You’d think it’s enough for us to pay £9000 tuition fees, let alone accommodation, food, bills, text books, field trips and travel on top. Thankfully, the Guild have recognised this, and are campaigning against the NUS with a vote to get students more financial help.

In their latest survey, the Guild discovered that only 42 per cent of students were satisfied with their current financial situation, which is a worrying figure that affects not just Birmingham students but students across the country.

This week, the Guild are asking students to get involved with their new democratic process, and vote for policy to go to NUS National Conference on the ever growing issue of additional course costs.

Jack Mably, Guild President, and Izzy Lenga, education officer, have released a statement detailing the conditions of the campaign: “In order for this to go to National Conference it needs to reach the minimum quoracy which is around 180 students.

“This is something that many students have spoken to me about and something that I feel needs to be on the agenda not only here at Birmingham but also on a national scale.”

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Jack and Izzy continued to discuss past statistics that have forced the Guild into action.

In 2011, when the NUS launched the Pound in Your Pocket Report, they received over 14,000 responses, revealing that concealed course costs were a big issue that needed addressing nationally.

It was revealed that 25 per cent of undergraduates and 21 per cent of postgraduates had paid anywhere in between £100-£199.99 for materials, activities or other costs, such as printing, text books and field trips.

At Birmingham, the Guild of Students launched their own campaign in 2012/13 which saw students granted free printing credits, as well as advertising the once concealed course costs online, proving to be a great success.

Right now in 2016, students are feeling the bite of costs more than ever.

The scrapping of maintenance loans and the tripling of university fees, alongside pricey rent, food and travel costs means that students are struggling more than ever.

Whilst the issue of printing on campus has been addressed, course texts are hard to find and even harder to keep, with library fines continued to be issued at high costs, alongside expenses for key course field trips that students do not wish to miss; the financial burden is harder than ever for students.

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This is a national issue, and here at Birmingham, our Guild of Students wants to support each and every one of us nationwide.

We need our National Union of Students to be fighting and influencing national university groups and the government to ensure the financial stability of students nationwide.

There have been arguments that the NUS is unattainable for students on campuses around the country, and it can be hard to argue against when it is involved in petty politics.

“It’s time that NUS works again for students,” says Jack. “Simple measures can be taken like creating a book sharing service for core texts and using its large potential lobbying power to promote best practice across the country on library fines, course trip bursaries and online resources accessible to all.”

It’s time that students are able to feel financially stable amongst their £9000 tuition fees, rent and living costs, and our Guild of Students is here to help us with that.

If you feel strongly about reducing the costs of additional university fees, support our Guild and make a difference today.