by Patrick Agholor, Activities Officer (Coventry Universities Students Union)
This campaign was led by the Activities Officer, Patrick Agholor, and the Representation & Welfare officer, Okoye Chidimma, and was in line with the mandate of over 700 students who were present at the last AGM, where it was agreed to support NUS in the campaign against the Bill.
The campaign was successful, engaging with over 366 UK and international students who signed individual letters and a petition to their MPs and the Prime Minister. The aim of the letters and petition was to appeal to them so that they would vote against the bill based on the nature of the impact on student recruitment and comfort in the country. The major aim was to create awareness around the impact the bill would have on students in general if passed, which would include accommodation issues, academic issues and also the fact that students already feel unwelcomed to the UK, despite the large amount of fees paid by them and the proportion of income they contribute to the UK economy.
It is worth mentioning that all the Coventry MPs and Lords connected to the institutions have been communicated with and there has been some positive feeling around this issue, but more effort is needed from other unions and also NUS to ensure that the Bill is not passed at all costs. Coventry University houses a large number of international students and would be affected adversely if the Bill is passed. Interviews conducted with students shows there is a general dissatisfaction regarding the presence of students and we are hoping for positive changes in the nearest future.
We were very happy to see that so much effort has gone into making the event a success, it is great to see so many enthusiastic students assisting and gathering support. It’s worth noting that via the event, NUS have now reached their target total of 100,000 signatures – so a very worthwhile day.