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Tag Archives: Student fees

Student Rebellion


Public forum with visiting education historian Dr Leonora Reyes, University of Chile

Queensland University of Technology

Gardens Point campus (Brisbane), 15 September 2011, Room 310 M-Block, 6.30-8pm

Since April, Chile has been paralysed by huge student and workers’ mobilisations intended to abolish fees, democratise schools and universities, and make public education open to all. Thousands of students are on strike and have occupied hundreds of schools and universities. Such is their public support that the popularity of the national university students’ leader, Camila Vallejos, now outstrips President Piñera’s by 4 to 1. The global implications are potentially profound: the Pinochet dictatorship’s private marketisation of education in 1980 has since been copied around the world.

Join us for a first-hand report and debate on the implications for all.

Sponsors: Australian Solidarity with Latin America (ASLA), National Tertiary Education Union (University of Queensland branch), QUT Student Guild.


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Capitalist Crisis




March for Education, Fight Every Cut

Assemble 12noon ULU, Malet St. March to Parliament



March for A future that Works

Assemble 10:30am Manchester Museum. March to Platt Fields Park:


WHY THE 29th

Just months into office the Coalition government’s vicious attack on education and young people has faced mass opposition on the streets. Hundreds of thousands of students have protested, walked-out of their schools and colleges, or occupied their universities.

The vote to treble tuition fees and scrap EMA might have passed through parliament, but as the movement in France has shown “what parliament votes for the streets can undo” Our movement has generated mass support up and down the country and has shown it is possible to resist the coalitions vicious attacks.

This week’s protests to save EMA saw the return of the student movement onto the streets with hundreds of London students chanting outside parliament: ‘wipe off David Cameron’s smile, let’s all go Tunisian style’.

Now we are gearing up for two very important demonstrations on 29th January in London and Manchester. The “Unite for Education” London demonstration has been supported by UCU, PCS, GMB, UNISON HE Committee and CWU Gen Sec Billy Hayes. The “Future for All” Manchester demonstration has been called by NUS, UCU and the TUC and is supported by PCS, GMB, UNITE, NUT, FBU and PCS.

The attacks on education and young people are part of a wider assault on workers and the public sector. A record one million under 25s are now unemployed and hundreds of thousands of public sector jobs, as well as pensions and benefits, are under threat.

These demonstrations present a real opportunity to bring trade unionists, parents, the unemployed, pensioners and all those under attack in behind the student movement to build a movement that can stop fees, win back EMA and defeat the government.

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Shut that Window!


This is a report that originally came from ‘Progressive America Rising’:

See also ‘Student protests give voice to ‘disconnected’ generation’ at ‘Our Kingdom: Power & Liberty in Britain’:

These reports were compiled by the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism (CCDS) – CCDS Links:

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The Island


If you tolerate this… Lord Browne and the Privatisation of the Humanities

By Martin McQuillan

The pithily entitled ‘Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance’ was published on Tuesday. In short, for those not parochial enough to be concerned by this, it was a committee set up by the previous Labour government, chaired by ex-BP boss John Browne (as one of the many sinecures offered to him, including Chair of the Tate Trustees, in compensation for the homophobia that chased him out of the oil industry, otherwise it would have been him and not Tony Hayward taking the rap for the Deepwater Horizon disaster) charged with considering future funding arrangements for universities and their students in England.

The headlines from the report are that 1. The current cap of £3,290 on student tuition fees should be scrapped in favour of potentially unlimited fees set by universities themselves, 2. The current teaching grant distributed to English universities should be cut by £3.2billion with a 100% reduction for the arts, humanities and social sciences. In effect Browne’s committee (which included the Chief Executive of Standard Chartered PLC, the Head of McKinsey, and two Vice-Chancellors) has at a stroke privatised the arts and humanities in England. The committee recommends that the state should no longer have any investment in these areas and that private individuals who wish to pursue such things at their own cost should pay for them.

It is hard to know where to begin with this. There are no workarounds, no accommodations to be made, no temporary crisis to be endured; this is the nuclear option, total and irreversible wipeout. Now, there is a difference between the publication of a so-called ‘Independent’ Review (Browne has now moved on to his next job advising the coalition government on Whitehall job cuts, and his review has clearly been hijacked to feed the ideological attack on the state currently being pursued by an administration that no one voted for) and how it translates into legislation through the torturous process of what Washington would call ‘the pork barrel politics’ of buying off a Lib Dem back bench revolt. However, there would seem to be little to be hoped for in this regard. What is striking here is not that higher education (and the arts, humanities and social sciences in particular) have been targeted but that they have been the first thing to be attacked and in such a spectacularly ruthless manner. The calculation must be that the news agenda will have moved on next week when everyone is more concerned by the fate of ‘useful things’ like hospitals and fire stations in the Comprehensive Spending Review. And of course, if the ConDems cannot be bothered to fund humanities teaching any more there is very little prospect that they will continue to fund humanities research. ‘The future has been cancelled’, as Graham Allen, writing in the context of Irish cuts, put it recently.

Most people will blame the Conservatives; the Conservatives will hope that most people will blame the LibDems. I do not blame either; I expect nothing else from the guardians of class privilege and their unscrupulous carpet-bagging associates. The people who are to blame for this are the Vice-Chancellors of UK universities (with one honourable exception) who have consistently pressed for an increase in tuition fees in order to maximise the return to their institutions. Tuition Fees used to be called ‘top-up fess’ because they were additional to state funding which had fallen behind the real costs of running universities. However, the short-termism of Vice-Chancellors failed to understand that as soon as fees were introduced the university sector would not only lose its place in the queue for, but its claim entirely on, the public purse. The Browne Report hits Vice-Chancellors with a sucker punch: you can have unlimited fees but you can no longer have public funding.

While science and ‘priority’ subjects will continue to receive a teaching grant the rest of us must fend for ourselves. The people who will be most affected by this is not so-called ‘teaching-focussed universities’ but those so-called ‘elite’, so-called ‘research-intensive’, so-called ‘universities’. Dear reader, I spent 10 years directing research in a Russell Group university, I know how much mediocrity there is out there, wrapped in snobbery and shrouded in utterly bogus ‘missions groups’ which allow ministers to divide and rule the sector through its own vanity. If there is no public funding and no funding council to distribute it then there will be no cap on student numbers for institutions. Humanities departments in ‘elite universities’ will only survive by piling students high and servicing them at low costs. The Browne Report does not set them free to compete with the world’s best universities, it impoverishes them and turns all of the arts, humanities and social sciences in England into teaching-focussed universities. Lets not even get started on what it means for the Art Schools and monotechnics; all advances made in funding of the humanities over the last thirteen years have been put into sharp and irrecoverable reverse.

I could make a defence of the worth of the humanities but if legislators cannot recognize their value from the outset then no words here will persuade them. Nor will I make the obvious case for the social mobility afforded by a university education—as if a Conservative-lead administration gave two figs for the education of the lower orders. However, the fundamental reason to oppose tuition fees of any kind is that those who benefited from a free higher education as a democratic right should not when in government (as a result of that free higher education) tell future generations that they must now take on mortgage-sized debts to pay for the same privilege. How this is ‘progressive and fair’, as our politicians like to say, is a mystery. One should not just resist this situation; it has to be refused utterly.

Distracted by the chimera of RAE results and QAA inspections, academics in the United Kingdom have not had the best track record in saying no to government in the last twenty years, but if this does not rouse us nothing ever will. And if it can happen in England it will without doubt be rolled out across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Europe, and Australia. This is a culture war in which critical thought is threatened with extinction. It is time to stop writing the monograph on the footnotes of Henry James, drop the myth of ‘research’ and ‘teaching’ institutions, and do something quickly to save everything any academic worthy of the name holds dear.

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Lost Generation?


Patrick Ainley and Martin Allen have a well-crafted and disturbing article in The Guardian (Further Education) today: “Education is losing its legitimacy – time for staff and students to step in” (p.4).

There is an online version called “What choice for school and college leavers in this job market?” which you can check out at:

Their new book is Lost Generation? New Strategies for Youth and Education (Continuum, published this month). You see more on this here at:

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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



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