NUS responds to key Higher and Further Education announcements in the Labour Party Manifesto

NUS responds to key Higher and Further Education announcements in the Labour Party Manifesto

NUS welcomes clear Labour commitments to Votes at 16, a training guarantee for all young people and a recognition that the current funding settlement is broken. The average student has 50p per week to live off after rent and bills: the priority for fixing the funding system must be student maintenance. 

We welcome:  

  • Labour’s recognition that the current higher education funding settlement is broken. They have listened to students' unions and the higher education sector. There was an opportunity here to lay out a vision for students and education, but their pledge to “act to create a secure future for higher education and the opportunities it creates across the UK' is vague and needs more detail. NUS is clear on the answer and has commissioned analysis which shows that maintenance grants can be brought back at no additional cost to the Treasury - available on request to journalists. 
  • Labour have listened to us too on post-16 access to education and training and we applaud their promise to establish a youth guarantee of access to training, an apprenticeship, or support to find work for all 18- to 21-year-olds. 
  • Promising to ensure the minimum wage is a living wage is another measure we welcome; however, we must see apprentices included in this pledge. 
  • A commitment to abolishing no fault evictions, which must include student renters in its legislation. 
  • A commitment to giving 16- and 17-year-olds the right to vote in all elections  

But we are disappointed by:  

  • Labour’s tax and spending plans. Public services are in a terrible state and Labour, despite Keir Starmer’s pledge not to return to austerity, risks set to do just that. Sticking to Conservative fiscal rules could mean £18bn of austerity according to the IFS and Resolution Foundation. 
  • We are deeply disappointed by Labour’s stance on migration. International students contribute to our education system and society and the arbitrary pledge to reduce migration, risks effectively returning to the hostile environment and will be bad for the economy. 
  • Trans people too have suffered much hostility and Labour’s stance on gender recognition does nothing to tackle this  


Chloe Field, NUS Vice President (Higher Education) said:  

"Student foodbank usage has doubled in the past two years. The average student has 50p per week to live off after rent and bills. A graduate on the average salary effectively pays 40% income tax when their student loan is accounted for. The student crisis is severe and needs tackling immediately to protect the country’s future. 

Students and young people are mobilised to vote in record numbers in this election, and still hold the balance of power in over 60 seats. We are bitterly disappointed not to see a concrete offer on student maintenance. We needed to see an actual vision and plan for student maintenance than an extension of the status quo - that the poorest students graduate with the highest debt. 

We’ve done the analysis, and we know that it's possible to bring back maintenance grants at no cost to the Treasury. So, at this point it’s more a question of whether millions of student voters are a priority for the Labour Party. 

Labour must make it a priority to radically address the urgent situation that students find themselves in.” 

Our Partners

Enable Recite Me accessibility tools