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Students vote to end SU boycott of National Student Survey

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Warwick students have voted to end the Students’ Union’s (SU) boycott of the National Student Survey following the first All Student Meeting (ASM) of the academic year.

714 students voted on the motion to ‘Focus on Fees: End the NSS Boycott,’ more than any other in the referendum, with 338 voting in favour compared to 271 against. There were 105 abstentions. Just 714 students voted on the motion, representing a 3.7% turnout.

The motion was proposed by Ben Hayday, a second-year Politics student, who argued that since the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and National Student Survey (NSS) are no longer directly linked to tuition fees until at least 2020, the SU should direct its time and resources on other efforts to “challenge, lower and abolish tuition fees.”

On the success of the motion, Ben commented: “I am really glad this motion has passed. The Government will soon be having an independent review into tuition fees and I am looking forward to seeing the expertise of Warwick SU’s elected representatives contributing to it and to the ongoing fight against tuition fees.”

“With that in mind, I am grateful to the campaign against the motion for the arguments they raised. We have a united aim to end tuition fees and improve higher education and we have never been closer to doing it.”

A similar motion to end the boycott proposed in May had failed to carry.

We have a united aim to end tuition fees and improve higher education.

SU President Hope Worsdale commented: “Although I disagree with the substance of the motion and campaigned against it for those reasons, as President of the Students’ Union I of course respect the outcome of the democratic vote on this issue.”

“Going forward, the SU will continue the fight against marketisation of Higher Education, but will retain no official stance on the NSS.”

The boycott began in Term 1 of last year, when the motion ‘Stop Tuition Fees: Boycott the NSS’ was passed with 625 votes for compared to 234 against.

With support from the National Union of Students as part of their strategy against the reforms, boycotts of the NSS were launched by SUs at over 25 universities.

However, the boycott at Warwick was unsuccessful with enough students filling out the survey for the University to be included in the final table of results.

Nationally, the boycott proved successful, with less than 50% returns and exclusion from the final results table at twelve institutions where less than half of eligible students responded, including Oxford, Cambridge, Manchester, Sheffield, Bristol and King’s College London.

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