Highlands and Islands student leader elected NUS Scotland president
Luke Humberstone takes over from Vonnie Sandlan, the first woman to lead NUS Scotland in a decade
Luke Humberstone - NUS Scotland/Andrew Perry
A business and management student from the Highlands has been elected the new president of the National Union of Students (NUS) in Scotland.
Luke Humberstone, president of the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association, won ahead of rivals Heidi Margrethe Vistisen, Raj Jeyara and Andrew Hunter and will serve a one-year term.
He succeeds Vonnie Sandlan, who held the post for two years, at the end of June.
Humberstone described his election as “a huge honour”.
“Our movement faces a hugely important year ahead,” he said.
“Brexit poses a number of threats to our education system and students lives, and our student support system is undergoing a root and branches review, it’s absolutely vital that students’ and young people’s issues are at the centre of the conversation going forward.
“When access to education still too often depends on your background rather than potential, when student support still doesn’t give the financial assurances it should, when education is still inflexible to the needs of students; it’s clear we still have a long way to go.”
While NUS president Sandlan also sat on the Commission for Widening Access chaired by Dame Ruth Silver, the board of Scotland Stronger IN Europe and is an associate board member of Who Cares? Scotland.
Sandlan said Humberstone was an “enthusiastic, principled and dedicated campaigner”.
She told NUS conference that while serving as NUS president was “the greatest privilege of her life”, she had faced misogyny in the role, and her tenure had been hard on her four children.
She paid tribute to her sister who had taken on responsibilities when Sandlan had been forced to work awkward hours.
“My sister hasn’t been able to get a job for the last three years because if she did I couldn’t do this job,” she said. “I think sometimes we glorify our movement and this organisation for diversifying the leadership and having parents in this role, but this is the reality.”
Jodie Waite, current Vice President of the Glasgow School for Business and Society at Glasgow Caledonian University Students’ Association, was elected Vice President Education in the same election, becoming the first woman to hold the post.
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