NUS Referendum


Should AUSA continue to be affiliated to the National Union of Students? 


Statement submitted to stay affiliated to the National Union of Students can be read here


There are no referenda running at the present time.


Who are the NUS?

NUS UK is a confederation of local student representative organisations in colleges and universities throughout the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland which have chosen to affiliate, and which pay a membership fee. Through NUS membership, AUSA has access to national decision making and student-led campaigns. Every year, they bring together a conference of student representatives to decide which campaigns and policy work should be taken forward. NUS UK is the political arm of NUS’ work. AUSA’s affiliation fee in 2020/21 was £18,495.28.

NUS Charity is an organisation that exists to provide support, guidance and services to Students’ Associations and Unions. AUSA is also affiliated to NUS Charity and pays a separate affiliation fee. The affiliation fee in 2020/21 was £4,623.82.

The referendum being held on this occasion is on AUSA’s membership of NUS UK and not NUS Charity. 

National Union of Students (


What is a referendum?

A referendum is a vote held among members of AUSA on a set topic. Students will usually be asked to vote yes or no to a specific proposal and if a majority of students vote in favour, AUSA will implement that decision.


Why is AUSA holding a referendum on NUS affiliation?

As part of AUSA’s byelaws, there must be a referendum held on NUS membership every four years. The original dates for the referendum were scheduled for March 2020 but were delayed due to the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.


What are we getting asked precisely?

The official question of the referendum is ‘Should AUSA continue to be affiliated to the National Union of Students?’. By voting ‘YES’, you are saying that ‘AUSA should continue to be affiliated to the National Union of Students’. By voting ‘NO’, you are saying that ‘AUSA should not continue to be affiliated to the National Union of Students’.


Can I vote?

All Students who have not exercised their right to opt-out for membership of the Students’ Association are eligible to vote. If you have any doubt over your ability to vote, please contact


Can I campaign?

Yes! We are looking for students who are passionate about this topic and would like to submit statements for or against the AUSA affiliation to the NUS UK. You can campaign to stay affiliated (‘for’ campaign) or to leave (‘against’ campaign). Email the Elections Committee ( with your statements before 5pm on Wednesday, March 10th.

How can I find out more? 

The supporting statements that are received will be published alongside the voting options so you can decide how you will vote having heard all of the information from both campaigns. There will also be a referendum debate held on Monday, 15th March at 3pm. This debate is dependent on a campaign for and against registering. If there are not campaigns registered for both sides of the debate, the debate will not go ahead.


What are the rules of this referendum?

You can read the NUS Referendum Rules here.


Please get in touch with the Elections Committee ( for more information, or if you wish to campaign for or against it.