Liam Burns elected for second term as NUS President
Liam Burns has been re-elected as the president of the National Union of Students (NUS) with 57% of votes.
The NUS National Conference in Sheffield this week saw Burns face heated competition.
Yesterday’s elections followed what Durham Students’ Union President-elect Archie Dallas called a “bloody hust” in which “the candidates, who until that point had behaved with pure courtesy to each other, stop pulling their punches”.
Burns’ opponents included Ed Marsh, currently Vice-President for Union Development, who was standing as an independent candidate and won the second highest number of votes.
Usman Ali, the current Vice-President for Higher Education and a proponent of widening higher education access to those from disadvantaged backgrounds, came in third place in the election.
Burns’ campaign placed great emphasis on his desire to ‘put money back into student pockets’.
Burns was formerly the President of NUS Scotland and has already held the position of NUS President for the past year.
In his first year in office, Burns launched a campaign called Come Clean, urging transparency from universities as far as unforeseen course costs are concerned.
Burns has recently been campaigning for the improvement of standards of teaching at universities, including that of postgraduate students. Burns also strongly believes that university lecturers should have a teaching qualification.
Durham University students have had a somewhat fraught relationship with the NUS in the past.
In 2010 controversy arose when NUS representatives threatened a ‘colossal demonstration’, calling for the cancellation of a debate about multiculturalism at the Durham Union Society in which two British National Party (BNP) members were to partake.
Wes Streeting, the NUS President at the time, held a forum at the University to explain and apologise on behalf of the NUS officers who had sent the threatening letter.
The University disaffiliated from the NUS after the affair, only to reaffiliate the following year.