Oxford vote to remain affiliated with NUS

Lili Bidwell 4 June 2016

The students of the University of Oxford have, like Cambridge, voted to remain affiliated with the NUS. Just under 6000 students voted, the turnout was 27.7%. The results were not as close as Cambridge, with 57% voting against disaffiliation and just 41% for disaffiliation. 2% of students abstained.

The campaign to leave the NUS was led by Anna Cremin, she has expressed her feelings about the results of the referendum saying: “this was a David and Goliath contest from the start – a grassroots movement of busy and passionate students on the one hand and full-time sabbatical officers and the apparatus and budget of a national organisation on the other.

"We are proud that our campaign was run by Oxford students and for Oxford students, without help from outside – our brilliant activists give us much hope for the future.

"However, the most important thing for us is that this referendum occurred. We consider it a major achievement that Oxford students were given a direct say on this issue and we hope this sets a precedent for more open and democratic student politics here at Oxford.”

The referendum was held following allegations of anti-Semitism from the recently elected president of the NUS, Malia Bouattia. It was also revealed in a letter leaked by a student newspaper last week that the NUS investigated claims of anti-Semitism last year. Although the letter concludes that Bouattia was not anti-Semitic, it remains the case that the investigation was held and the NUS aware of the issue.

Currently out of the universities who have held referendums on this issue, Newcastle, Hull and Lincoln have disaffiliated while Oxford, Cambridge, Essex, Exeter, Warwick and Surrey will remain. The elections in Bath Spa, Loughborough and Worcester were not adequate because too few students voted.