On Monday 2nd February 2015 a ‘Special Meeting’ of the QUB Student Union Council has been organised for Councillors to discuss a range of proposals due to the result of incoming reductions in the SU budget.
The budget for the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) has been reduced and this will have a knock-on effect on the amount of money that Queen’s University will receive and, subsequently, be able to give to the Student’s Union.
The Gown revealed that the SU leadership have considered axing two Student Officer positions in order to respond to Budget difficulties. On Monday, SU Councillors will have 11 options to choose from and you can read these options on The Gown’s website here.
Queen’s University currently provides the Student Union with a sizeable subvention so that the SU can run effectively. Until now, it is not widely known how much the annual subvention is, and the upper echelons of the Student Union are keeping a lid on the extent of next year’s budget reductions.
Since 2008 the Students’ Union has received over £6 million. In a statement from Queen’s University The Scoop was told that “the Students’ Union is an integral part of the University and as such is provided with an annual allocation in the form of a subvention.”
Some students have however expressed their wish that the SU become independent to Queen’s University.
Student Councillor Niall Robb told The Scoop that he would like to see the SU become independent so that there is “no university influence on the SU”. Cllr Robb believes “if the SU were independent it wouldn’t face cuts when University funding is cut.”
Despite calls for SU independence, this is unlikely to happen any time soon due to the substantial monetary subvention which the SU receives from Queen’s University.
When asked how the SU spend money which they receive from Queen’s University, the response was not exactly clear…
In recent weeks it has become evident that the DEL budget is going to be better off by about £33 million than originally expected. However, BBC NI reported that university places will still be cut.
It is unclear how much money the SU will receive in next year’s budget; it is hoped that this will become clear after Monday’s special student council meeting.
The Scoop will be reporting live from this meeting and you can follow us on Twitter: @TheScoopQUB