National Union of Students

NUS Referendum Results

Essex students have voted to leave the NUS in the All Student Vote. A total of 1026 votes were cast across (845 Colchester, 132 in Southend and 46 in Loughton) with 59% in favour of disaffiliating from the national body. Josh Gulrajani, VP Education and the Essex Leaves NUS, said “This is a big step forward for Essex. Today, you all made your voices heard, and made the message clear: The National Union of Students is no longer for Essex students! I would like to thank everyone that voted Leave, along with everyone that gave time over the last fortnight to campaigning. The fight now becomes ensuring that some of the options we outlined over the last fortnight become a reality, and I promise you that I will be fighting for real change for Essex Students with all of my energy and power.”

The Students’ Union President Zoe Garshong added, “I am happy that our members (Essex students) have made the decision to leave the NUS, I truly believe that Essex will be better off this way. We now have more money and fewer restrictions to really invest directly into the student body and to make real change. We will now take the next steps to find the very best ways that we will benefit all our members.”

The Students’ Union will start working on disaffiliating with the NUS on Monday. Further announcements about the process will be made in due course.


Affiliation costs

Academic year Affliation fee % Increase Income from NUS Extra Card sales Total cost to the SU
2012/2013 £34,094.45 - £10,503.75 £23,590.70
2013/2014 £36,822.01 8% £13,082.11 £23,739.90
2014/2015 £38,185.75 4% £15,403.77 £22,782.01
2015/2016 £41,240.64 8% £17,943.55 £23,297.09
2016/2017 £50,808.10 23% £18,000.00 expected* £32,808.10

NUS calculates the cost of our affiliation fee using the previous year’s student numbers and core grant. The core grant is the amount of money the Union receives from the University to help support some of the Union’s activities.

The affiliation fee entitles the Union to be a part of the national movement, receive support, access research carried out by the NUS, receive election support, attend democratic conferences to shape NUS policies and direction, receive some training, and the ability to sell NUS Extra Cards. It doesn’t cover all training and conferences that the NUS offer members where the Union would have to pay; additional costs.

The Union are currently negotiating with the NUS regarding our current affiliation and future affiliation. A summary of the negotiations can be found here.

The National Union of Students

The National Union of Students is the national body that represents over 600 Higher and Further Education Union's across the United Kingdom. The NUS champions students to shape the future of education, promote and defend student rights, and campaigns on behalf of students through evidence-based research and student-led democracy.

The NUS is led by elected representatives. The current President is Malia Bouattia and was elected by delegates representing their Union's at the NUS National Conference in April. Alongside Malia are Vice Presidents and Officers that lead different areas of NUS' work. They are held to account through the National Executive Committee and various National Conferences.

As Essex Students' Union, we help to shape the work of the national movement by sending members (delegates) to attend National Conferences and NUS Zones Conferences. This is where the work and policy of the NUS is shaped. Any member of the Union can be a delegate to represent Essex at the various National Conferences. 

In order for the Students' Union to be a member of the NUS we pay an affiliation based on the Block Grant that we receive from the University and our student numbers. In 2015-16 our affiliation to the NUS was £41,240.64, an increase of 8%.


What's a referendum?

A referendum is just an all-student vote. It's a chance for every student to have a say and vote in a big issue.

Why are we having a referendum?

All that needs to happen for us to have an all-student referendum is at least 75 students sign a petition asking for us to.

how many students have need to vote?

5% of the student body need to vote in order for the referendum to be valid. In this referendum the number of votes required for it to be valid is 749.

what is the affiliation?

It is like being a member of a club or society. As a SU we pay a membership to the NUS to become a member on a yearly basis.

Who's managing this referendum?

The returning officer is Paddy Reilly, the Deputy Returning Officer is Craig Stephens. The Election Manager is Gary Richardson. Please contact if you've got any questions or queries.

What are the rules?

You can find the rules here.