Students Across The Country Are Calling For Their SUs To Disaffiliate From NUS

The National Union of Students (NUS) is currently witnessing a potential membership crisis as students all over the country are calling for their Students’ Unions to disaffiliate from the organisation.

It started with students at Cambridge launching a campaign to leave following the dramatic election of Malia Bouattia as NUS president, but has quickly seen students at other universities create Facebook groups and call for change.

Earlier today students at Oxford have announced they will be seeking a referendum to disaffiliate from NUS, requesting support from other students.

“Today, we no longer believe that Oxford’s membership of the NUS can be justified. The point of a union for students is to deliver real representation for all students, and what has occurred this conference shows that this is no longer a priority for those who hold power in the NUS” read the statement posted to Facebook by Oh Well, Alright Then – a group of conference delegates from Oxford.

“Last time Oxford had a referendum on leaving the NUS, I campaigned to stay in. That’s not a choice I’d make again.

We need another referendum, we need to disaffiliate now” wrote one Oxford student on Facebook.

Students at King’s College London have today also created a page called ‘Hear King’s Roar: Say No to NUS’.

The page bio says: “The NUS cannot claim to be representative or democratic any longer. We believe KCL is better off out of the NUS” and its first post condemns Malia Bouattia.

York Vision reported yesterday that members of various political groups were joining forces to write a motion demanding York’s Students’ Union leave the NUS.

The paper reported that the groups wanted to “force a referendum as early as next week”, and claimed that a leaked version of the motion called NUS “fundamentally undemocratic”.

Talk of disaffiliation has also been heard at Manchester. The twitter account for Manchester Conservative Future tweeted this morning that they’d be campaigning for Manchester SU to leave the union.

Aberystwyth University saw similar calls to action yesterday, with an already-existing NUS disaffiliation group coming back to life. 

“Tomorrow after the NUS conference universities are going to launch disaffiliation campaigns up and down the country at once. I feel now would be a bloody good time for this to restart again.” posted one member of the group, which has 67 members.



Exeter University already had students rallied to leave NUS long before the conference this week, with a referendum taking place in May on whether The Students’ Guild should disaffiliate – the second time an NUS referendum will be held at Exeter in 18 months.

Speaking to Exeposé, Exeter’s student newspaper, Paul Rota – the student who called for the referendum in his failed election manifesto – said: “Last year, the NUS leave vote failed on the promise that there would be substantial reform in the NUS. There was not.

“We see the No-Platforming of LGBTQ+ and anti-racism activists Peter Tatchell and Hope Not Hate; we see the NUS spending tens of thousands of student money campaigning against the Liberal Democrats. And all the while, the NUS have been deliberately and maliciously blocking ‘One Person One Vote’, the one motion that would bring true democracy to the NUS.”

The anti-NUS rhetoric began yesterday when Malia Bouattia defeated Megan Dunn to become the next president of the organisation, despite many Jewish and other students raising concerns about her previous comments and affiliations in this open letter.