A Jewish theology student and activist at the University of Birmingham is campaigning to be elected to the top table of the National Union of Students as vice-president for welfare.

Izzy Lenga, the University’s student education officer, is campaigning on promises to ease students’ crippling financial pressures and to scrap the Government’s “racist, hostile and failing” Prevent programme, which requires public servants to report those holding extreme views.

She was named Political Activist of the Year in January by the World Union of Jewish Students for “calling out and challenging anti-Semitism in the National Union of Students and the wider student movement”.

NUS President Malia Bouattia has been a frequent critic of Israel and Zionism, once calling Birmingham a “Zionist outpost”. Bouattia says her anti-Zionism is political and has vowed to protect Jewish students in the UK from anti-Semitism on campus.

A spokeswoman for the Union of Jewish Students said they were “delighted to see Jewish students getting involved… Despite concerns over anti-Semitism, we’ve seen an increase in the number of Jewish students running in elections this year”.

She added: “It is encouraging to see Jewish students putting themselves forward to represent their peers nationally. We hope Izzy’s candidacy will encourage even more students to stand up for what they believe in.”