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I hope you all enjoyed Lent Term and the craziness happening throughout campus. Wanted to update you on what happened at NUS Postgraduate Conference.
I went to the National Union of Students (NUS) Postgraduate Conference at the end of February, this is where Postgraduate Officers from across the country gather and discuss what NUS should be campaigning on for the next year for Postgraduates. It was in Milton Keynes and lasted two days, with various workshops, motions and social events.
One of the main areas discussedwas Postgraduate Taught funding, which I’ve been campaigning for with the
Financial Support Office here at LSE. We passed a motion which challenges the
current settlement on postgraduate taught funding that the government has
proposed, in particular to lobby for the funding shifted from the Undergraduate
scholarship Programme to the Postgraduate Support Scheme to remain recurring
and be used to fund scholarships for students from underrepresented groups. In
conjunction I wrote another motion which was to work with groups such as Aim
Higher and UUK to promote postgraduate education to students from poor
socio-economic backgrounds. I think it’s vital that students up and down the
country are not put off by the price tag of postgraduate education, as it is an
excellent opportunity for specialization in the respective fields. Additionally
we also passed policy on making funding accessible for mature students and
living grants to be more widely accessible.
I’m also delighted to announce
that I was elected on to National Executive Council (NEC) of the NUS, as
Postgraduate Taught representative. What this means is that for one year I will
represent and campaign for postgraduate taught students nationally. There are a
range of issues that I have seen affect postgrads, and I can’t reiterate the
importance of accessibility – it is one of the main things I will be
campaigning for in this new role. If you would like to know more about what
happened at the conference please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org!
LSE SU Postgraduate Students’
We have been made aware of the delay to exam timetables being released by the School. Following the delay last year in the release of timetables, we met with the Academic Registrar to emphasise the importance of the timeliness of timetables and were assured that there would not be a repeat of this.
Disappointingly, this has not happened this year. We are currently in contact with the registry regarding this and are putting utmost pressure on them to resolve this as soon as possible, as well as asking what compensation can be delivered to students for the distress caused.
We will keep students updated with these discussions.
LSESU General Secretary
I’m an outlier in the cohort of politically-active students at LSE. I’m Secretary of the LSESU Labour & Cooperative Society, the university’s largest political society, but I am, shockingly, from the United States.
As soon as people hear my accent at events or during campaigning they give me a puzzled look. They often rationalise that I must be Canadian citizen or have dual nationality, because then I’d have a reason to care.
But although I can’t vote here, I can still make a huge difference.
I can impact the future of the country, the welfare of its citizens, and the future generations of students who follow me.
Personally, I don’t understand why all students aren’t more politically active. Before moving to the UK for my two-year Masters programme, I did extensive research on the political landscape, political parties, and voting laws. I knew that regardless of where I live in the world, it is vital to be an informed citizen.
If we, the futureeconomists, policymakers, bankers, lawyers, and leaders of the world, don’t have time for
politics, then who does?
If we, the students at the London School of Economics and Political Science (I wish we would stop leaving out that bit!), don’t become more educated and engaged in the lead-up to the General Election in May… Who will?
Not everyone feels that way. When I ask my LSE peers why they’re not more politically active, they often give excuses: “we’re not living here for long” and “we don’t have time for that”. In the 2010 UK General Election, barely 50% of 18-34 age bracket came out to vote. Surely that suggests a huge portion of society is under-represented - which we have the power to change.
Even if you’re only living
in the UK for a few years, you can make choices that positively impact future generations of students – changing things like university
fees, access to the NHS, and housing costs. Future students deserve it - and your voice deserves to be heard.
The web makes it so
easy to learn about party manifestos as well as to decide which policies you are
keen to vote on. Start now!
This is relevant for all students, and especially international students from Ireland and Commonwealth countries, who are eligible to vote in the UK. You need to register first (the deadline is 20th April), which only takes about 5 minutes. Go to gov.uk/register-to-vote.
I’ll be voting on May 7th - which is just around the corner - and trying to create a momentum on campus to make the student voice heard this year. Will you join me?
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