Tom Starkey

How colleges and students’ unions can get along

The potentially fractious relationship between the two will work best if they act as ‘critical friends’

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I’ve been a lecturer in the FE sector for more years than seems plausible, given my track record of irreverence and lack of organisational skills. But I’ve only stepped inside the students’ union office at my college a handful of times. One of these occasions was to procure a student card, enabling me to access the many delicious shopping discounts that came with enrolling on a ballroom-dancing class (but that’s a tale for another day).

Even if my own contact has been minimal, I’ve always found the relationship between union and college to be fascinating: seemingly symbiotic, yet often ...

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