The FE sector has a new student champion, with Emily Chapman winning today’s election to become the National Union of Students’ new vice-president for FE.

The Leeds City College student union president beat challenger Myriam Kane, who had served as union president at Lewisham Southwark College, at this year’s annual conference in Brighton.

It comes after the outgoing VP for FE, Shakira Martin, clinched a stunning victory to become the new NUS president.

Ms Chapman said: “I am thrilled that students have put their faith in me and elected me to be the next VP for FE.

“Over my term I am looking forward to representing students across the UK, starting to heal some of the damage done to the sector over the last few years.”

Ms Chapman’s manifesto called on students to “work in partnership” with the aim of “sharing best practice and building power for students’ unions” to “make education better”.

She said she wanted “to ensure NUS is somewhere for all FE learners, a place where they can feel both comfortable and supported”.

She promised to “lobby the UK government to ring fence ESOL [English for Speakers of Other Languages] funding”, “support the development and profile of the National Society of Apprentices across the UK”, and “create a students’ union visit plan” targeting “colleges that need the most development”.

Ms Chapman will also turn her attention to “fighting for consistency in learners, from all backgrounds and modes of study, being central to the decisions made about their education” and work to “ensure that learners are able to access the support they need” in “mental health, finance, careers and life skills”.
Her manifesto highlighted that “there are over 300 FE students’ unions in NUS” but “not even half attend our national conference”.
“NUS democracy isn’t accessible for FE students, and NUS events are too expensive”, she said. 
In light of this she planned to: “Work with the vice president for union development and lobby the UK government to fund FE students’ unions in England, by learning from the frameworks and development plans in the nations.”
 Ms Chapman was supported with lots of positive feedback on Twitter:

FE Week wishes her good luck in her new role. 

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