It has come to Milton’s attention that the University of Oxford will soon be holding a referendum on disaffiliation from the National Union of Students. Believe In Oxford – officially launched yesterday – is making the case for disaffiliation and fighting to send a clear message to the NUS, whose current activities are ineffectual and fail properly to represent the UK student population.
Success for Believe In Oxford would mean joining other disaffiliated universities such as Southampton, Glasgow and Imperial: demonstrating their distaste for skyrocketing affiliation fees, lack of effective representation and the NUS’s overwhelming irrelevance to the lives of most students.
Eleanor Sharman, campaign manager for Believe in Oxford, told The Backbencher:
“This isn’t about the NUS being inherently flawed. We don’t think that it is. But we do think that it’s broken, and has been for many years. The idea that it represents all students is bizarre. Change from within has been tried, and tried again – to no avail. Oxford has a strong, clear voice, and the time has come to use it.”
Milton awaits the results of Oxford’s referendum with great interest. If one of Britain’s most prestigious universities were to disaffiliate, it would send a clear signal that serious reform is needed before the NUS can effectively represent UK students. Such reform is a position that this site wholeheartedly supports, and Milton wishes Believe in Oxford the best of luck in their campaign.