Information about forthcoming demonstration at University of London

Posted on 21/01/2014

The University of London has received notification that there will be a demonstration held on Wednesday 22 January at Senate House.

Professor Adrian Smith, Vice-Chancellor of the University of London, has written to the President and Vice-President of the University of London Union outlining how the University will be facilitating the planned demonstration. Both entrances on Malet Street and Russell Square will be open to allow protestors into the car parks. There will be additional security staff on hand to ensure the safety of demonstrators, as well as students and visitors using the libraries.

You can read Professor Adrian Smith’s letter here:

Background information about the closure of ULU

The University of London is a federal body representing 18 colleges, 10 specialist institutes, and distance learning provision. The University of London colleges provide for 120,000 London-based students and a further 53,000 overseas. In London as a whole, there are 40 university institutions providing for a student body of 500,000.

Historically, the University of London Union (ULU) was mandated to represent University of London students and provide central sporting, social and entertainment facilities at 1 Malet Street. The first objective was particularly important prior to colleges developing their own student union services. Now, average election turnout runs at 1 – 2%, compared with 16% at UCL and nearly 30% at Heythrop. Though footfall varies throughout the year, there are around 1,000 visitors to the ULU building every day, using different services and facilities.

Following a review of ULU’s ‘relevance to the current student body’ in 2012/13, in which information and comment was sought from all college SUs, students, ULU Exec and Trustees, Heads of colleges and the NUS, the Collegiate Council and Board of Trustees unanimously passed the decision to cease support for the representational function of ULU. In addition, the annual college subscription totalling around £740,000 pa will be redirected to focus on student support within colleges, and a business plan is being prepared to maintain the facilities that are valued by University of London students at Malet Street.

ULU will cease to be a federal student union on 31 July 2014. The representative function will continue to be met by individual colleges, along with plans developed by the NUS for a pan-London entity that would provide representation on a wide range of issues that affect all students in HE and FE institutions in London.

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