Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/665/11725
Tuition fees hike
Of the 24 universities that have so far announced the tuition fees they are intending to charge from 2012, 16 are planning the maximum £9,000 a year for all courses. This makes the government's claim that the average fees will be significantly below £9,000 laughable.
Supposedly we shouldn't worry though as universities will only be able to charge the maximum fees if they show they are offering enough support for poorer students. And yet even before the fee hike, the top rated universities seem to be struggling with this. Oxford and Cambridge have seen no improvement this year in the proportion of students from state schools that they intake - less than 60% for both.
We need mass protests at universities as they announce their fee rates which call on managements not to implement the Con-Dem increase.
Research by the Institute of Fiscal Studies think tank shows that many students from poor backgrounds will be worse off with the government's new bursary scheme than they were with Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). Students eligible for free school meals will lose an average of £370 a year according to the study. The number of students guaranteed support is being reduced from 650,000 to just 12,000 which will undoubtedly mean many decide they cannot stay on in further education. YFJ demands the immediate reinstatement of EMA and that local councils match EMA funding for students unable to get bursaries from central government.
TUC youth award
YFJ activist Nick Parker has been awarded the TUC youth award 2011. This is the third year in a row that a young member from the PCS civil servants' union has won the award showing the worth of a well-organised, fighting young members' network, as has been developed in PCS. Nick's hard work campaigning against cuts in his home town of Lincoln, organising the PCS in Jobcentre Plus call centres and fighting for decent jobs for all young people with YFJ was recognised at the recent TUC young members conference.
Jarrow march for jobs
Youth Fight for Jobs' march from Jarrow to London is gaining support. YFJ has received donations of £100 from Hull trades council and £300 from London RMT as well as £90 collected on the 26 March demonstration.
The march will start in Jarrow, south Tyneside on 1 October and arrive in London on 5 November with protests as the march goes through towns along the route. It commemorates the 75th anniversary of 200 unemployed men from Jarrow marching the same route. Youth unemployment is rapidly approaching one million which shows the complete failure of the mainstream parties to provide a future for young people. March with us for job creation not job cuts!
In The Socialist 6 April 2011:
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party youth and students