Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/706/13921
Join the student walkout
A Sheffield student
The National Union of Students (NUS) has called on students to walk out of lectures on 14 March as part of a national week of action.
Socialist Students is campaigning for good turnouts at both Sheffield Hallam and the University of Sheffield, with a march to the city centre. We are also trying to involve local colleges in the rally. Students are being hit by the Con-Dems' fee trebling and the abolition of the EMA student payments.
Sky high fees
The walkout has been officially organised in opposition to the privatisation of higher education and hidden course fees which represent a brutal attack on students. But Sheffield Socialist Students believes that this must be linked to defending students from sky-high tuition fees and the massacring of teaching budgets.
Neither the NUS nor our student union (SU) have advertised details about the walkout. We have lobbied our SU to publicise and coordinate action - but Socialist Students will provide a lead if our SU refuses to do so. Our campaign will be launched at a meeting on 22 February, at which the SU education officer has agreed to speak.
We hope the rumour that the SU council intends to vote against a proposal for demonstrations on campus and a boycott of lectures is false.
We intend to work with other left-wing groups and societies on campus, drawing in as many students as possible, to hold a protest march against the dismemberment of our education. Given the anger that exists and the mood for action there is potential for many more to join Socialist Student societies.
The lecturers' union UCU in Sheffield have given us their full support. However the university authorities have not yet commented on whether students will be penalised for boycotting or walking out from compulsory seminars - we must oppose any victimisation of protesters.
Mass student support for the walkout will provide a strong message to the weak coalition government: we will not let our education system return to 19th century nepotism, while universities and colleges fall further into the hands of private investors. We will not allow the working class to be priced out of education.
In The Socialist 22 February 2012:
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Reviews and readers' comments