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NUS Student Strike

Read about what Strath students and Exec members got up to in London!

strath union teal and white flag

Strathclyde sudents and members of the Student Exec took part in the NUS Student Strike on Wednesday March 2nd in Central London!

After setting off at 11pm from the Union on Tuesday, there was a 9 hour overnight coach journey to get through first before reaching London. With multiple stops overnight for people to have a comfort break and provide an opportunity to grab food and drinks. It was an interesting experience to say the least but was successful with the coach arriving in London at 10am on Wednesday giving students and Exec a few hours to spare to explore the city before attending the NUS Student Strike. This time was used wisely with folk stretching their legs, taking in the sights and organising Union flags and banners to show support and solidarity at the strike. 

At 12pm Strath students arrived in Torrington Square on SOAS University of London campus in Bloomsbury to meet other students showing support for NUS #NewVisionforEducation. The Student Strike was occuring simultaneously with staff strikes and student occupation on the campus to help push forward the message that students all over the UK are tired of the current inadequate education experience including rising tuition fees and the defunding of the arts. The interactive day encouraged students to use their voice to campaign for much-needed change.


Pictured: Strath students and Student Exec in London ready for the Student Strike.

Students heard from Larissa Kennedy, NUS UK President, and Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, NUS UK Vice President Higher Education, as well as Gold Fees Strike students (Fees Strike at Goldsmiths, University of London). Their speeches stressed the importance of coming together to support workers, university staff and students occupying spaces. They demanded more be done to support students and make education funded, accessible, lifelong, and democratised.

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio said, "A decolonised, democratised, divested university isn't a line on a poster. It's a very real possibility."


Pictured: Larissa Kennedy (NUS UK President) addressing the crowd gathered in Torington Square. 

President of NUS Scotland, Matt Crilly, also spoke at the main stage alongside President of NUS Wales, Becky Ricketts, about the state of affairs for education and demanded safe routes for those fleeing wars worldwide. Student President, Benn Rapson made this statment about the Student Strike:

"The #StudentStrike was such a great time! It was great to take a group from Scotland, including so many folk from Strath, down to join the rest of the movement! Now let's work towards a #NewVisionForEducation filled with ambition, and turn that ambition into action!"

Current VP Welfare, Lewis McDermott had this to say about attending the strike:

"Wednesday’s NUS event for a #NewVisionForEducation in London was a brilliant opportunity to come together with students from across the UK to make our voices heard in shaping and demanding a change to the broken education system. As students we’ve been saddled with debt, made to work in precarious and unsuitable contracts, and paid unequally and sporadically – all the while University managers and executives are lining their pockets with profits from wage cuts and tuition fees. Yesterday we came together to say we have had enough. We worked with NUS through a serious of conversations and workshops allowing all students from all over the country to help shape our demands for the sector. More than just a rally, we shaped the vision for the future of education, and together we can come back and fight to make that vision a reality."


Pictured: Strath students, Exec and Officiers from other Unions across the UK at the NUS Student Strike.

After opening speeches there was a chance to get involved and take action with workshops and discussion organised in another square. These covered how students can take action when it comes to topics including sexual violence policy on campus, rethinking economics to build a better economics in society and the classroom and showing solidarity with Ukraine and Palestine. These equipped students with the tools to make the change needed a reality and created a positive space for collaboration. 

The main message from strike was that students together are stronger and highlighted how important it is to build community, to meet people, to plan and to reimagine education together. You can follow all the future events held by NUS here and follow Union campaigns for a chance to take action in the future.