Students in NI call for an end to the marketisation of education, greater investment in the NHS, and a commitment to equality and human rights.
NUS-USI has today launched its general election manifesto, setting out students’ asks of parties ahead of the poll on 12 December.
The manifesto, ‘When Students Lead’, calls for greater levels of public investment across NI, from higher education to the NHS. It also urges parties to respect, uphold and enhance human rights and equality laws on abortion and equal marriage. NUS-USI also wants to see the creation of an Irish Language Act, to enshrine the rights of Irish speakers living in NI.
The manifesto was launched at Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union, where NUS-USI President Robert Murtagh told gathered students:
“This is one of the most significant elections in the history of NI, and for students and young people, the repercussions will be felt most acutely. That’s why students need to lead the debate and the best way to do that is by voting.
“Because when students lead the debate, they achieve great things, like the decriminalisation of abortion and legalisation of same-sex marriage. And when students vote, they vote for progressive change, a fairer society and opportunities for all.
“Brexit remains unsolved and as students we must keep banging the drum loud and proud against the hugely damaging effects that no deal would have on society in NI. We must ensure there is no hard border between north and south, and I encourage all political parties contesting the election to realise the fragility of peace in NI.
“So to those candidates that will seek our votes on 12 December, I urge you to listen to us to deliver a fairer society for everyone in NI.”