The Students’ Union exists to defend and extend our rights: we campaign throughout the year on a range of issues at a course, college, university and national level; improving the lives of our members and the shape of wider society. Whether it is working with course reps or fighting against cuts to the arts, we strive to ensure that creative campaigning is at the heart of our organisation.
Below are some of the current campaigns we’re running and you'll find the latest updates on our campaign activity on our blog. Whether you want to be more actively involved in our campaign actions, have ideas about what issues the union should be campaigning on or just want some more information about what it is that we do, please get in touch.
We are campaigning, on a national and local level, for fair arts education to be free and accessible to all, no matter what your financial situation. Whether it’s the cost of materials or housing; the levels of student debt or the discrimination faced by many students; it’s the responsibility of government and the University to implement measures that ensure no one is shut out from studying here at UAL.
We should also have a more meaningful role in the way our education is delivered; Universities and Colleges ought to function in a more democratic way, responding to students’ needs. We see it as our role, as a fighting Students’ Union, to advocate system-change.
You can watch our campaign video here or contact your sabbatical officers for more information.
The international student sign in system at UAL is unfair and discriminatory. The University is legally obliged by the Government to keep a record of international students’ attendance; but the currently policy goes above and beyond the UKBA requirements.
The treatment of international students by a number of institutions; whether it’s racial profiling by the police or the Governments’ targets to cut international student visas and introduce NHS charges. We oppose all discrimination against people based on their nationality or heritage and refuse to accept an education which appeases a racist Government agenda. If the University needs to record student attendance then we are asking for them to develop a fairer and less intrusive method of doing so, such as through in-class attendance or coursework submissions.
For more information or to join the campaign contact Culture & Diversity Officer Mostafa.
The University would not function if it wasn’t for both students and staff. Our lecturers, technicians, librarians and support staff; as well as the cleaners and kitchen caterers we interact with every day all contribute to the education we receive. There is a vast and growing pay disparity at UAL; the highest earning member of staff, on £250k, earning 20 times that of the lowest paid. Academics and support staff across the UK have sustained a real-terms pay cut of 14.5% in the last 6 years.
We believe that staff should be paid a fair wage and that our University should be leading the way in promoting an ethical employment framework. No worker should earn below a subsistence wage, but UAL’s cleaners get just £6.31 an hour. Last year SUARTS became a Living Wage employer; now we are calling on the university to pay all its staff the Living Wage, including contracted workers.
We support the ongoing industrial action taken by our staff unions UCU, Unison and GMB and give full support to the cleaning and catering staff fighting for the Living Wage.
The UAL Living Wage campaign won TUC Youth Campaign of the Year Award 2014!
We’re campaigning to cut the cost of housing for UAL students. Halls of residence are too expensive, and it can leave students struggling to pay their rent. Many don’t have the choice to live ‘at home’, and many are put off from applying altogether. The increasing level of privatisation in student housing is inflating prices beyond affordability, and the private-rented sector is insecure with students vulnerable to rogue landlords and estate agents.
We are calling on UAL to build University-owned and managed accommodation; ensuring that the rent prices in any new halls of residences is set at an affordable rate, matched to actual student incomes, not the market. So far 1485 of you have signed up to our housing campaign calling on the university to act on this issue...
For more information or to join the campaign please contact SUARTS President Shelly.
30% of students at UAL are involved in SUARTS clubs and societies. UAL’s policy states that Wednesday afternoons shouldn’t have any mandatory sessions timetabled so students have a free afternoon to carry out their extracurricular activities.
In practice this policy isn’t followed and there’s still a lot of contact time on Wednesday afternoons. This stops a lot of students from being able to get involved in communities outside of their course. We’re demanding all Colleges ensure they’re not timetabling on a Wednesday afternoon.
For more information or to join in with the campaign contact Activities & Development Officer Rosie.
Internships and work places are great opportunities for students’ to get experience in the creative industry; but not if they are refusing working rights as basic as the National Minimum Wage.
SUARTS campaigns to bring an end to exploitative unpaid internships: we have lobbied UAL to stop advertising unpaid positions on their careers website, held protests targeting rogue employers and publicly called out companies which has resulted in them changing their policies. We will continue to campaign over the coming year to bring an end to exploitative employment practices.
Funding Foundation is a campaign to increase the amount of financial support available to Art & Design students in Further Education.
We want a grant to help students with associated costs, a removal of the post-19 learner fee, and a commitment from the Government to reverse the cut scheduled for 2015/16.