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It has been reported that the National Union of Students (NUS) is facing significant financial difficulty. In a letter leaked online by the news site Guido Fawkes, NUS President Shakira Martin and NUS Acting Chief Executive Peter Robertson outlined to all affiliated students' unions that the organisation is "facing financial difficulty" due to a "significant deficit" of £3 million.
In the letter, it is said that the NUS has sought advice on tackling the deficit in order to try and remain solvent. The letter points to serious structural problems which have led to the current situation. It is suggested that the NUS will borrow against its building, make staff cuts, and reduce activities to begin to rectify its finances. It suggests that the organisation should be financially viable again after six months.
The NUS is creating a new Turnaround Board to address the long-term problems within the organisation. The findings of the group will be publicised at the NUS National Conference 2019. Affiliated students' unions have been asked to submit proposals for reform. Representatives will be attending Strategic Conversation to debate plans.
The organisation has come under significant pressure over recent years due to a number of disaffiliations by students' unions across the country including unions at Newcastle, Hull, Loughborough, Surrey, and Essex. The University of York Students' Union (YUSU) will be holding its own referendum on NUS disaffiliation at the end of the year, which occurs every three years.
The full letter is visible here.
Nouse has contacted YUSU and the NUS for comment.