A students union has voted in a referendum to leave the National Union of Students (NUS).
A total of 519 out of 1,006 members of the University of Plymouth Students’ Union (UPSU) voted to end its affiliation with the NUS.
Supporters said UPSU, which sent more than £57,000 to the NUS this year, could get better value for money for students by leaving.
The NUS said: “We intend to listen and we intend to change.”
Supporters of the decision to leave the union said “most students do not know what the NUS is, or what it stands for”.
They said that UPSU would lose some NUS services such as student discounts but it would save on affiliation fees and training costs.
UPSU president Alex Doyle said there were “significant concerns” by students about value for money from the NUS, as well as “lack of political standing and lack of support”.
People who voted to stay affiliated to the NUS said it was “fighting to make students voices heard” and gave students “the power to challenge government, business and other institutions”.
Leaving the NUS would also mean the loss of “discounts that many of use to travel home, get cheaper Amazon Prime Membership, and to discount our local shops”, they added.
The NUS said in a statement that UPSU leaving it was a “source of great sadness”.
It said the vote was close and “reflects the great uncertainty felt by many throughout these difficult times”.
The NUS added that it was “working hard to build the kind of responsive and effective organisation that’s fit to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow”.
It said the “door will always be open, and we look forward to a day when we can welcome the University of Plymouth Students’ Union back into the fold”.