NCAFC members are proposing the following motion to the NUS National Executive Council meeting on 13 May (the last meeting of the outgoing NEC).
This is a very basic motion to confirm what NUS’s new policy is. We are discussing proposing a more extensive motion on campaigning for free education to the first meeting of the newly elected NEC – draft out soon.
The 13 May meeting will also discuss other motions, including a large number remitted from NUS conference – post on this shortly.
NB NUS NEC voted down the motion! See here (added 10 June)
Motion 4: Free Education Motion Clarification
Proposed by: James McAsh
Seconded by: Rosie Huzzard, Gordon Maloney, Charles Barry
1. NUS National Conference 2014 passed amendment 215c ‘Free Education’ which committed NUS to a free education position. This was made very clear in the resolves: “To make the case for free education and demand that free, accessible, quality education, and decent wages, public services and benefits, are funded by:
a. Ending tax evasion and avoidance and cracking down on tax havens
b. Imposing serious taxes on the incomes, inheritance and capital gains of the rich
c. Taking the banks, and their wealth, under democratic control”
2. The amendment also committed NUS to opposing all forms of graduate contribution, including a graduate tax: “To oppose and campaign against all methods of charging students for education – including tuition fees and a ‘graduate tax’ which is nothing more than a euphemism for ‘student debt’”
3. The original motion, which the Free Education text amended, committed NUS to a funding model based on graduate contributions.
4. That the amendment was an ‘Add Amendment’ and did not delete the contradictory parts.
5. That the motion, as it currently reads, is internally contradictory.
NEC Further Believes:
1. That the inter-relationship with the motions was wrong: it should not be possible to have an internally contradictory policy.
2. That the submitters of the amendment clearly did not intend for the end policy to be internally contradictory, and nor did conference when it voted for the amendment.
3. That due to the lengthy count on this amendment and the falling of the guillotine, it was not possible to debate the parts to delete the commitment to the graduate tax in the original motion.
4. Conference knew what it was voting for: free education and opposition to all forms of student contribution.
5. That the policy needs to be interpreted one way or the other.
1. To interpret NUS national policy on education funding as being unambiguously in favour of free education and against all forms of student contribution.
2. To act on the basis of this in the run-up to the General Election and after.
3. To publicise NUS’s historic change of position.