Aaron Porter

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Aaron Porter
AaronPorterNUSPresidentBeforeDemo2010.JPG
Speaking at a press conference on the morning of the Demo2010.
54th President of the National Union of Students
In office
10 June 2010 – 30 June 2011
Preceded by Wes Streeting
Succeeded by Liam Burns
Personal details
Born (1985-01-11) 11 January 1985 (age 29)
Nationality British
Political party Labour
Alma mater University of Leicester

Aaron Ross Porter[1] (born 11 January 1985)[2] is the former President of the National Union of Students in the United Kingdom; he was elected with a 65% majority and took office in June 2010 for one year.[3]

Background and positions held[edit]

In 2010, Porter lived with his parents in Norbury, south London. His father is a policeman who grew up in London and his mother is a teacher from Trinidad.[2]

Porter studied at Wilson's School in Wallington in south London, before reading English Literature at the University of Leicester, graduating with a BA in 2006.[4] He took a leading role in the University of Leicester Students' Union, serving as the Union's Finance and Services Officer, and then as its Academic Affairs Officer, as well as being the editor of the student magazine, The Ripple.[5]

Prior to becoming NUS President, Porter was twice elected as the NUS Vice-President (Higher Education), serving from July 2008 to June 2010.[5] He was the first officer from the University of Leicester Students' Union to be elected to the National Union of Students' Executive Committee.[6]

Presidency of the National Union of Students[edit]

Porter stood for the Presidency of the NUS as the candidate of the Organised Independents faction, but is a member of the Labour Party.[7] He was subsequently elected with a 65% majority and took office in June 2010, which he would hold for the period of one year.[3] Taking control of the Union, Porter put forward his views that he was in favour of lowering the voting age to sixteen,[4] and stated he would lead a national demonstration against the government’s planned rise in tuition fees before any vote in Parliament on the issue.[7] On taking up the NUS Presidency, Porter was profiled in The Observer where he re-stated his opposition to any increase in tuition fees as well as the need for a new approach to campaigning that includes both formal lobbying as well as active campaigning.[2]

Backing a graduate tax as an alternative method of financing higher education, Porter stated that funding would need to be fair and progressive for students to support it.[8] A keynote speech on the future of higher education warned of the implications of a funding crisis.[9] He has also been vocal on the issue of graduate employment with significant national coverage.[10][11][12][13] In November 2010, Porter appeared on the Daily Politics television show, arguing against the raising of students' tuition fees.

In response to the review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance chaired by Lord Browne, the National Union of Students organised a National Demonstration in London jointly with the University and College Union.[14] 50,000 protestors took part in the protest, at the end of which Porter addressed a rally outside Tate Britain.[15] During the immediate aftermath of this demonstration on 10 November 2010, by over 50,000 people, Porter condemned the occupation of the Conservative Party's headquarters, referring to it as "violence by a tiny minority".[16]

In January 2011 at an anti-cuts march and rally in Manchester, Porter was escorted away by police from a small section of the crowd of student protesters who were heckling and shouting "you're a Tory too" – a chant commonly used against Liberal Democrats during the student fees protests. There was also a Daily Mail report claiming their photographer had overheard anti-semitic abuse[17] – a report later carried in other news outlets, despite Porter not being Jewish.[18][19][20] Porter later confirmed to the Mule Newspaper in Manchester that he had not personally heard any anti-Semitic abuse.[21]

In February 2011 Porter said he had decided not to seek re-election for Presidency of the NUS, stating he felt the Union would benefit from new leadership.[22]

Post-Presidency[edit]

In September 2011 Porter contributed to the book What Next for Labour? Ideas for a new generation; his piece was entitled "Where Next for Labour’s Higher Education Policy?"[23]

Porter now holds a portfolio of roles primarily in the higher education sector. He is Director of External Affairs for the National Centre for Universities and Business, Associate Director (Governance) for the Leadership Foundation,[24] Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Winchester and is on the Advisory Board for the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "person Aaron Ross". Companies in the UK.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c Asthana, Anushka (20 June 2010). "Smart suit, shiny shoes ... meet the new NUS president leading the battle against fees". The Observer (London). Archived from the original on 22 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "News-Aaron Porter is the new NUS President". The National Union of Students. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Walters, Alexander (17 April 2010). "The new president of the National Union of Students reflects on a nerve-racking election triumph". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 19 April 2010. Retrieved 21 April 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Aaron Porter". The UKRC. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Aaron Porter wins NUS Vice Presidency in Historic Landslide Victory". The University of Leicester. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Shepherd, Jessica (14 April 2010). "NUS elects new president who opposes fees hike". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 17 April 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "We need a retroactive graduate tax". New Statesman. 15 July 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Funding crisis will change the nature of higher education, NUS president claims". Times Higher Education. 23 June 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  10. ^ "Bar Rises As Graduate Job Squeeze Tightens". Sky News. 20 June 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2010. 
  11. ^ Garner, Richard (6 July 2010). "Nearly 70 graduates for every job vacancy". The Independent (London). Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  12. ^ "Three quarters of employers 'require 2:1 degree'". BBC News. 6 July 2010. Archived from the original on 15 July 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  13. ^ Vasagar, Jeevan (6 July 2010). "Graduates warned of record 70 applicants for every job". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 8 July 2010. Retrieved 6 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "NUS/UCU national demo set for November". NUS. 3 August 2010. Archived from the original on 7 September 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "Promote the demo". Demo 2010. National Union of Students and the University and College Union. Archived from the original on 5 October 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2010. 
  16. ^ Porter, Aaron (11 November 2010). "An inspiring student protest that we won't let the violent undermine". The Guardian (London). Archived from the original on 14 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  17. ^ Gallagher, Ian (30 January 2011). "Student leader faces barrage of anti-Jewish abuse at rally as protesters accuse him of being a Tory". Mail Online (London: Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  18. ^ Sawer, Patrick; Harrison, David (29 January 2011). "Student Leader Aaron Porter barracked with anti-Semitic insults". The Daily Telegraph (London: Telegraph Media Group). Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2011. 
  19. ^ Police clash with students in Manchester Financial Times 29 January 2011
  20. ^ NUS President Subjected to Anti-Semitic Abuse Jewish Chronicle 30 January 2011
  21. ^ Pooler, Michael (February 2011). "Aaron Porter admits he did not hear anti-Semitic chants". Mule. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  22. ^ Sean Coughlan (21 February 2011). "NUS leader Porter will step down at next election". BBC. Archived from the original on 22 February 2011. Retrieved 21 February 2011. 
  23. ^ www.whatnextforlabour.com/contributors/
  24. ^ [1] Aaron Porter joins the Leadership Foundation
  25. ^ [2]

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Wes Streeting
President of the
National Union of Students

2010–2011
Succeeded by
Liam Burns