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Daily Archives: January 31st, 2009



No to fees – A living grant for every student – Tax the rich to fund education!



Event Info:




Time and Place:

25th February 2009

12.00 – 17.00

Assemble: Malet Street, London



Contact Info: 







Education – a right not a privilege

No to fees – A living grant for every student – Tax the rich to fund education

National demonstration February 25th 2009

This academic year could see the lifting of the £3,000 cap on tuition fees in higher education. Meanwhile, student debt and poverty are already spiralling, students face soaring costs of living, and the market dominates our education system from school to college to university.

After years of underfunding for post-16 education, the Government brought in tuition fees and then top-up fees. Worsening the already existing inequalities in higher education, fees are greatly accelerating the development of a competitive market between universities, with a tier of well-funded and prestigious institutions and another of less prestigious, underfunded ones. Along with the absence of decent student grants, they rule out the possibility of seriously expanding access, force most students who do get to university into debt and push many into casualised, low-paid jobs. Lifting the cap will, of course, make all this worse. Meanwhile most further education students have always paid fees and never had grants.

Top-up fees will be in the headlines this year, but fees are not the only issue. Though Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish university students studying in their own nation, and FE students under 19, do not have to pay fees, they do not receive a living grant and are also forced into poverty and debt. Nursing, midwifery and other students who have to work as a large part of their course receive a bursary as an on-the-cheap substitute for a living wage.

International students are exploited to subsidise higher education institutions through higher and higher fees, while postgraduate study is limited to a small elite through a more and more restrictive funding system.

Women, black, LGBT and disabled students are affected and disadvantaged disproportionately by the growth in student poverty and debt.

As our education is commodified and most institutions are run more and more for profit, the wages, conditions and rights of our teachers and other education workers are also coming under attack.

We also note that, as the economic crisis bites, the Government has announced that it plans to cut student numbers and further limit eligibility for grants.

We believe that NUS is allowing the Government to get away with these deeply unpopular policies. This year, despite the review of the cap on fees, NUS is not organising a national demonstration – not even one for its needlessly bureaucratic “alternative funding model”, let alone the abolition of fees and living grants that students need. Its “day of action” – which took place on 5 November, the day after the US presidential election, hardly the best time to get attention – was a start, but totally inadequate.

That is why we, students’ union officers and student activists, are organising a national demonstration, around the following demands:

* No raising of the cap on top-up fees; halt and reverse the growth in international students’ fees; abolish all fees in HE and FE – free education for all;
* A living grant for every student over 16 – at least £150 a week; and a living wage for nursing and other students who have to work as part of their course;
* Stop and reverse marketisation in our schools, colleges and universities – tax the rich and corporations to fund education.

We are organising this demonstration in alliance with trade union activists fighting back against wage freezes, job cuts and privatisation; with other anti-cuts and privatisation campaigns; with young people’s and children’s organisations; and with others who believe that education should be open to all as a human right, not a privilege open to a minority based on wealth.

Supported by:

NUS Women’s Campaign
NUS LGBT Campaign
University of Bradford Union
Union of UEA Students
University College London Union general meeting (indicative vote)
Aston Students’ Guild
Edinburgh University Students’ Association (indicative vote)
University of Sussex Students’ Union
Cambridge University Students’ Union
Huddersfield University SU LGBT society
Education Not for Sale
Sussex Not for Sale
Another Education is Possible

Individual signatories (all pc unless their organisation is listed as a signatory):

Aled Dilwyn Fisher, LSESU general secretary
Michael Deas, LSE Green Party
Joe Sammat, LSE
Tonina Alosmer, LSE
Alrabbas V, LSE
Anna Krausova, LSE
Vladimir Unkovski-Korica, LSE Socialist Worker Student Society
Lena G, LSE
Ruby Buckley, LSE
Heather Shaw, Sheffield College SU president
Martha Kunda, Sheffield College SU general secretary; NUS Women’s Committee co-FE rep
Lloyd Russell-Moyle, University of Bradford Union secretary-treasurer
Vicki Baars, Leeds Met Students’ Union Associate President Welfare and Campaigns; NUS LGBT Committee Women’s Rep; NUS National Councilor for the North East; North East Yorkshire And Humberside Area Womens’ Officer
Maryam Ahmed, Leeds University Union equality and diversity officer
Ellie Toolan-Kerr, University of Leeds
Joel Harrison, Leeds University Union Student Council
Chris Close, Leeds University Union Revolution Society
Dan Edmonds, Leeds University Union Revolution Society
Richard Berry, Leeds University Union Revolution Society
Max Darby, Leeds University Union Revolution Society
Siobhan Coleman, Leeds Metropolitan University Union Revolution Society
Brad Atkinson, Leeds Metropolitan University Union Revolution Society
Adam Farrell, University of Sussex SU education officer
Richa Kaul Padte, University of Sussex SU welfare officer
Dave Owen, University of Sussex SU activities officer
Joseph O’Connor Meldau, University of Sussex SU campaigns officer
Tom Wills, Sussex Not for Sale
Simon Englert, Sussex Not for Sale and SWSS
Syed Bokhari, Sussex SWSS
Koos Couvee, University of Sussex SU communications officer 2007-8
Alan Bailey, University of Salford SU VP representation; NUS LGBT Committee open place
Beth Noble and Matt Smith, University of Salford SU LGBT Society co-chairs
Joe Czechowicz and Franklin Williams, University of Salford SU LGBT Society committee
Sofie Buckland, NUS Women’s Committee; NUS NEC 2006-8
Jennie Killip, University of Manchester SU women’s officer; NUS Women’s Committee lesbian rep
Robbie Gillett, University of Manchester SU communications officer
Ellie Reyland, University of Manchester SU welfare officer
Vicky Thompson, University of Manchester
Gemma Short, Sheffield University; NUS Women’s Committee open place
Daniel Randall, Sheffield University; NUS NEC 2005-6; left candidate for NUS president 2008
Laura Schwartz, NUS Women’s Committee open place
Evangeline Holland-Ramsey, Huddersfield University SU LGBT officer; NUS Women’s Committee co-FE rep
Adam Ramsay, Edinburgh University Students’ Association president
Kath McMahon, Edinburgh University Students’ Association council
Darcy Leigh, Edinburgh University
Helen Harjak, Edinburgh University
Keshav Dogra, Edinburgh University SA council
Philip McGuiness, Edinburgh University
Stephanie Spotto, Edinburgh University
Alasdair Hawkins, Edinburgh University
Devin Dunseith, Edinburgh University
Sara D’Arcy, Edinburgh University
Alex Wood, Aston Students’ Guild equalities officer; People & Planet Management Committee
Chris Marks and Stephen Wood, Hull Left Forum
Rachael Ferguson, midwifery student at Greenwich University, former University of Sussex SU women’s officer
Daniel Rawnsley, Oxford University
David Amos, Oxford University
Aidan Simpson, Oxford University
Molly Bryson, Oxford University
Amy Gilligan, Oxford University
Sean Ambler, Oxford University
Hannah Thompson, Oxford University SU Women’s Committee
Emily Hammerton-Barry, Cambridge University SU HE funding officer
Ria Hylton, Cambridge University SU Mental Health Officer
Ed Maltby, Cambridge University
Joseph Wilson, Cambridge University
Weiran Ni, Cambridge University
Moira Smith, Cambridge University
Kate Pallas, Cambridge University Women’s Union newsletter editor
Patrick Rolfe, Cambridge University
Ria Hylton, Cambridge University
Benny Talbot, Cambridge University
Navinder Kang, Chester University SU vice president
Debbie Hollingsworth, Ruskin College SU women’s officer 2007-8
Graeme Kirkpatrick, Aberdeen College Students’ Association vice president
Katie Sutton, University of Derby SU women’s officer; NUS Women’s Committee NUS National Council rep
Craig Griffiths, UCL and People & Planet
Donnacha Kirk, PhD student, UCL
Jo Casserly, UCL Stop the War Society president
Andrew Weir, UCL Union council member
Sol Gamsu, UCL Stop the War Society treasurer; Friends of Palestine Society; Save Senate House Library Campaign.
Sean Murray, UCL Revolution Society
Amani Ashraf, University of Westminster
Mick Lynes, University of Westminster and SWSS
Carly Doyle, National Union of Teachers student officer
Daniel Cooper, Royal Holloway University
Stuart Jordan, nursing student, City University
Katie Hunt, University of Leicester SU bisexual representative
Beth McEvoy
Rebecca Davies, Sheffield Hallam SU education executive
Jorgen Hovde, University of Essex
Haegwan Kim, University of Essex SWSS
Zara Verryt, People and Planet society chair, Newman University College, Birmingham
Adam Elliott-Cooper, Nottingham University
Vicki Morris, Birkbeck College London
Livio Birattoni, Birkbeck College London and Socialist Students
Ben Sellers, SOAS SU co-president
Sacha Ismail, SOAS, Workers’ Liberty youth and student organiser
Jason Irving, SOAS
Sara Cesarec, Imperial College London
Sam Coates, Young Green, Cardiff University
Neil Cafferky, Richmond College and Socialist Students
David Jamieson, Strathclyde University and SWSS
Rosie Isaacson, Southampton University Fight the Fees
Sara El Sheekh, Kings College and SWSS
Lukas Kudic, Kings College and SWSS
Kady Tait, EBC
Luke Staunton, Bradford College



Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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