Lancaster University Students’ Union’s 13,000 members have a huge impact on the city of Lancaster and the surrounding region. As tenants, residents, and voters, our voices are diverse but many of our needs and priorities are shared. Here, we lay out our alternative Student Manifesto for the 2017 general election. We call on our local candidates and their parties to adopt our pledges.
Lancaster is the top ranked university in the North West, helping to drive innovation and development in the region. We want our MP and our Government to share our ambitions to make the city of Lancaster an international hub for academic research, attracting and inspiring a diverse range of students into its universities.
- A network of government, institutions and industry stakeholders to attract further research investment and capital to the region
- Protections for European Union students in the region and nationwide, including access to student finance during the Brexit process and a pledge to continue European partnerships like Erasmus after Britain has left the EU
- Aspiration raising and improving fair access to higher education for young people, particularly those from rural areas
Lancaster students don’t just study here – we work, shop, have fun, and make our homes in the city. Safe, affordable places to live are a top priority and a fundamental right for the students and young people who choose to move to the area.
- National and local policy on rent controls to protect students – for many Lancaster student residents, the cost of renting in the town will be well over 50% of a students’ income (based on £8,200 maintenance loan)
- Stricter licensing standards for multiple-occupancy homes, as student properties continue to be of poorer quality and poorly managed
- A student-focused Lancaster City Masterplan, planning housing and facilities appropriate to our student population
Public transport provides the vital link between Lancaster and campus. With increasing student numbers in the next few years, we’re calling for more sustainable transport services to keep our region on the move.
- A greener public transport system, moving towards electric and hybrid buses and a further commitment to creating dedicated infrastructure to support cycle commuting
- Commitment to improve bus and rail services and make them more affordable by freezing or reducing prices. National policy in this area is vital to Lancaster, where frequency, cost and affordability of public transport forms a key part of the student experience.
Jobs and employment
1 in 4 young people in Lancaster are unemployed, and many skilled graduates move out of the region after their studies. We need a holistic strategy on jobs and employment that brings together employers, investors and education institutions regionally, nationally and internationally. .
- Drive skilled and graduate recruitment in the region in partnership with industry and major employers
- Promote jobs and opportunities for young people, including flexible work for students and in-work training, apprenticeships and skills development for young people
Health, wellbeing and inclusion
There is a mental health crisis happening among students and young people, and inclusive communities are more important now than ever before. Investment in health services, social care, and policing are needed to ensure young people are not let down.
- Commitment to a strong local NHS that can provide adequate general and sexual health services to students and young people in the city, including the ability for students to dual-register with GPs
- Commitment to support local providers, universities and third sector organisations to strategically support the mental wellbeing of students in Lancaster
- Strong national policy on hate crime giving Lancashire Police and partners across the city the tools they need to make Lancaster even more inclusive, welcoming and diverse