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Two current and one previous University of Birmingham student will be competing to become the next NUS Vice President Higher Education at its National Conference this April.

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Poppy Wilkinson, current Guild President

Candidates for the NUS position of  VPHE have been announced. There are three candidates running for the position, including Poppy Wilkinson (current President of the Guild of Students) and Hattie Craig (former Vice President for Education). They will be competing against Sorana Vieru, currently Postgraduate Education Officer at the University of Bristol but also an alumnus of the University of Birmingham, for the role.

The aim of the NUS is to extend and expand student rights across the country. The NUS is a student-led union that most student unions affiliate to. The Guild of Students engages with the NUS. The VPHE position is important to influence national policy to help the quality and delivery of education across the UK.

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Hattie Craig, former Guild Vice President (Education)

Wilkinson’s main pledge is to ensure the cost of living for students is maintained on the NUS agenda across all Higher Education institutions. Craig campaigns various promises, one of which is her support towards the coordination of regular free education marches across the UK. Vieru has affirmed to ensure more liberation and diversity in education by working closely with NUS Liberation campaigns, including: Women, BAME, LGBT and Disabled Students.

In addition, Izzy Lenga, Education Officer-elect, and Erin Lee, both UoB students, will each be running for one of the NUS National Executive Council (NEC) positions. Known as the Block of 15, students from across the country can run to sit on the decision-making body of the NUS, which meets nearly every month. Lenga says she wants to make sure everyone has access to education and that the Anti-Racism and Anti-Fascism campaign will have ‘grassroots activism to combat fascism and racism’. Lee, who is currently on the NEC as a Mature Students’ representative, says she wants to see a “strong, united” movement, and that “education is a social good… worth fighting for”.

To see the candidates complete manifestos, go on to the NUS website. The election will take place on 22 April 2015 at the NUS conference in Liverpool.

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The National Union of Students (NUS) conference 2014 began today, with delegates from universities and colleges across the UK gathering to debate its policies. The NUS works to represent students at national level, aiming to promote, defend and extend their rights.

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