Category: NUS Wales Policy
The Welsh Government has announced the Tertiary Education and Research Bill (TERB), which is expected to see the merger of the HE & FE sectors into one, post-16 sector called the Post Compulsory Education and Training sector, or PCET.
NUS Wales broadly agrees with the direction of travel, but wants to use this opportunity to level-up student representation and partnership across the new landscape. We want to see students’ unions implemented in every post-16 institution which are:
For too long, not all students have had similar opportunities and access to support across the post-16 sector. This disparity is especially seen in colleges, where it is still uncommon to see full-time, paid sabbatical officers and dedicated students’ union staff.
In addition to this, it is not always the case that students are truly partners and co-creators in their own educational experience. There are still too many barriers to students being involved in decision making at every level within their institution, from course reps to executives.
We call upon the Welsh Government to ensure that fully-funded, politically autonomous and structurally independent students’ unions across the post-16 sector are enshrined in law within the TERB.
I agree that the upheaval caused by PCET would provide an opportunity to ensure parity between all student unions. I agree that they all have to be fully funded, politically autonomous and structurally independent, unlike the present situation. It would also be an opportunity to introduce more Wales-wide projects and initiatives, as it would reduce the contrasts between FE and HE, which we have at present.