For a fighting NUS – against cuts, racism, imperialism and war

Friday, 23rd March 2018

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Matt Stanley #1 for NUS Vice President Further Education

Student Broad Left is proud to support founder of the Bring Back EMA Campaign and NUS NEC member, Matt Stanley, for NUS Vice President Further Education. Here we share his draft manifesto and initial supporters list. Please contact Matt directly to add your name to his supporters list and volunteer to join his campaign team.

“I am pleased and excited to announce that I will be standing for NUS Vice President Further Education at this year’s NUS National Conference, taking place in Sheffield this April.

I’m standing to turn NUS around. We need a national union that fights to defend students against the enormous assault we are facing from the Tory-led government.

As NUS VP Further Education I would take the fight to the Tories – uniting our movement behind a serious campaign to force a government u-turn to bring back EMA. I stand for an NUS that actively builds massive opposition to cuts and fees – and for the student movement to link up with other progressive movements in fighting racism, inequality, climate change and war.

As the co-founder of the Bring Back EMA Campaign, President of MidKent College SU, member of the NUS National Executive Council and the NUS LGBT National Committee I have the broad range of experience necessary to lead a vibrant, fighting FE student movement on a local and national level.

Below I have included my draft manifesto and an initial list of supporters.

I’d really appreciate your feedback and ideas ahead of the deadline, which is now less than two weeks away. Please email me at to share with me your ideas or to add your name to my growing supporters list.


My record includes:

* Co-Founder of the Bring Back EMA Campaign – launched in November 2012 alongside over 100 NUS Officers and representatives, FE student leaders and student activists from across the country. This new campaign seeks to put pressure on the government to re-instate the Education Maintenance Allowance which was shamefully scrapped in 2010 despite enormous opposition from students and the wider public
* A serious record of fighting cuts & fees – I played a key role in building NUS #demo2012 nationally and on my campus. As a member of the NEC I proposed NUS ring-fence money to provide funding for FE unions to get to the demo and I was proud to take a coach of students from my college to London to protest against the government. On my campus I have won an increase in student support funding, have set up an anti-cuts group and campaigned against students being fined for handing in late work
* Fighting for liberation on my campus – In my college I’ve created our first ever autonomous Liberation Officers with full exec positions and actively supported our Liberation societies and campaigns. In the first term we organised a series of events for Black History Month, and showcased accessible sports in the SU for our Disability Awareness Week. We are currently planning our activities for LGBT History Month and International Women’s Day
* Campaigning against the far-right nationally and on my campus – As a member of the NUS NEC I have campaigned against fascists being given a platform within student media at Leeds and at a public meeting in Cambridge. On my campus I have introduced a No Platform for fascists policy and supported my students getting involved in the NUS Black Students’ Campaign. When the Police and Crime Commissioner candidates came to my college I strongly challenged the propagation of racist myths by the English Democrat candidate on the spot
* Standing up for LGBT equality – As part of NUS LGBT’s Equal Marriage campaign I collected over 350 petition signatures in just one day which we delivered to our local MP’s constituency office. I’ve also successfully introduced gender-neutral toilets and delivered training to college staff on LGBT issues
* Marking Holocaust Memorial Day – In the lead-up to HMD this year we welcomed Holocaust survivor Ziggy Shipper to MidKent, and I have organised a delegation students from my college to visit Auschwitz, to educate our generation on the dangers fascism represents to society today – we will never forget
* Delivering solidarity to Palestine – As a member of the NUS NEC I proposed the unanimously-passed policy that opposed the recent war on Gaza & demands that the siege is ended. I also mobilised students to attend the vibrant, thousands-strong demos opposing Israel’s assault
* Fighting climate chaos and greening the student movement – Climate change is a threat to us all – at MidKent I have set up our People and Planet society, organised Fairtrade Fortnight, introduced an SU Sustainability Officer and handed in our first submission for the Green Impact award

My experience includes:

* President of MidKent College, 2012-Present
* NUS NEC Block of 15 (FE Place), 2012-Present
* NUS LGBT National Committee, 2012-Present
* National Campaign Against Fees & Cuts National Committee, 2012-Present
* Actively involved in many progressive movements including Love Music Hate Homophobia, Unite Against Fascism, CND and Stop the War



With the general election just over 2 years away, now is the time to start setting the terms of the debate over the future of Further Education and launch a massive fight for what FE students need – financial support to get through college.

I stand for an FE Zone that puts the issue of defending and bringing back EMA at the absolute centre of NUS’ work in the run up to the next general election.

I will lead a massive, active and vibrant campaign both to defend and bring back EMA – channelling the anger and passion of a generation into a movement that forces a government u-turn on this issue.

Elect me and I will:

* Mobilise flat out for a first term national demonstration in 2013, in central London under the banner of bringing back EMA and opposing cuts, fees & student debt – FE and HE students let’s unite the fight!
* Bring together a powerful coalition of students, teachers, lecturers, politicians, trade unionists, campaigners, commentators and public figures to demand that the government bring back EMA
* Take the fight into the corridors of power – pressuring MPs through a national lobby of Parliament and by launching a government e-petition with the goal of reaching 100,000 signatures to get a debate in the House of Commons on bringing back EMA
* Build the movement to bring back EMA on every campus – supporting Students’ Unions and student activists in organising campus weeks of action, stunts and direct action. The nations have led the way in campaigning to keep EMA and now we need to take that fight even further.


We have some truly inspiring activists in FE, but too often we’re held back by funding restraints or a lack of staff support. I will lead an FE Zone that supports strong and active FE Unions, with more sabbatical officers, more NUS support and more accessible campaigns for FE activists. I will campaign for more FE affiliations to NUS and fight for autonomous and student-led FE unions. NUS should subsidise FE attendance at all of its events and prioritise travel funding for FE students.


As NUS VP Further Education I will organise campaigns to oppose all cuts and make the strong arguments for massive state investment in free education. NUS must defend ESOL funding – a cut that would be a direct attack on International students.

NUS Scotland’s ‘Fund Scotland’s Future’ campaign against the Scottish Government’s proposal to cut the further education budget by £34.6m is a brilliant example of what NUS as a whole should be doing to fight to defend students across Britain from the greatest assault on students and education in living memory.


In a time when the fascist far right are trying to make in-roads into our colleges, and mainstream politicians are using racist scapegoating of Black and International students to distract us from austerity, NUS should prioritise anti-racism and anti-fascism.

Elect me and I will lead an NUS that actively campaigns against Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, and works with Unite Against Fascism to beat the fascists at the ballot box and opposes them when they attack our communities. I will implement NUS’ No Platform for Fascists policy and ensure there are free places for FE students at the NUS Anti-Racism Anti-Fascism Conference.


Women, Black, LGBT and disabled students are at the sharp end of the government’s attacks on education. As students we should be actively challenging inequality in wider society and running unions that stand up for all students. As VP FE I would prioritise working with the Liberation Campaigns and make them central to the FE Zone’s activity, and always defend Liberation Campaign budgets and autonomy.


We are told that there is no money to fund education, yet our government spends billions on war and nuclear weapons every year. As VP FE I would ensure that NUS demands the government changes its twisted spending priorities and funds education not war. I will support FE unions empowering their students to play an active role as global citizens – fighting for a better world and against war and climate chaos.


This is my vision for NUS, but I can’t make it happen alone. I’m pleased to already have the support of the following FE officers, activists and national student leaders:

Becca Anderson, Gateshead College President
Shelly Asquith, South-East Region TUC Young Members Vice Chair
Vicki Baars, NUS VP Union Development
Ashley Bailey, Wilberforce College Student Governor
Jess Bayliss, NUS LGBT National Committee
Emma Bassham, Leeds City College Treasurer
Ayesha Brown, Wyggerston & Queen Elizabeth College Secretary & Student Governor
Seb Chowdhury, Manchester College Student Governor
Conor Court, South and City College Birmingham LGBT & Disabled Students’ Officer
Kirsty Davison, South Essex College Entertainments and Events Officer
Oliver Davison, Bradford College SU Officer
Robert Eagleton, Cardinal Newman College & Young Greens National Committee
Roxy Greenwood, Great Yarmouth College Vice President
Selmah Habib, South and City College Birmingham President
Eve Haddow, Stourbridge College Student Governor
Gemma Hall, Somerset College FE President
Sian Hancock, Sussex Coast College Hastings President
Joe Haslam, Lancaster and Morcambe College President
Choi Hy, Worcester College of Tech President & FE Zone Committee
Anisa Islam, Sandwell College President
Noor Jahan, West Thames College & NUS Black Students’ Committee FE Rep
Asif Javed, Bradford College International Students’ Officer
Jamil Keating, NUS NEC Block of 15 (FE Place)
Aaron Kiely, NUS Black Students’ Officer
Tom King, Student CND National Committee
Faith Kumson, MidKent College Black Students’ Officer 2012
Phoebe Lloyd, City of Bath College President
Rustam Majainah, Young Greens National Committee
Zeno McDonald, Worcester College of Tech Activities Officer
Yusuf Molade, NUS BSC FE rep
Barbara Ntumy, Sheffield College President
Emma Palmer, Hull College Enterprise Officer
Shereen Prasad, City & Islington College
Tanya Perry, Kirklees College Campus Officer
Kelly Russell, Dudley College President
Samantha Sadler, Exeter College Course Rep & NUS LGBT FE student of the year 2012
Rebecca Sawbridge, K College & NUS Black Students’ Committee 2010-12
Curtis Taplin, Great Yarmouth College
Sky Yarlett, NUS LGBT Officer (Open Place)

I’d be thrilled if you’d like to add your support to my campaign. If you like what you’ve read or have anything you’d like to chat about then you can message me on Facebook or email me at

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