Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/460/1667
Fees, debts, cuts, privatisation
Students join the fightback
THOUSANDS OF students will march on 29 October, angry at paying £3,000 this year for tuition. Many students will be marching not just against top-up fees but against the privatisation, cuts and warmongering policies implemented by New Labour.
Matt Dobson Socialist Students National Co-ordinator
Socialist Students have met students all over the country who want to fight back against New Labour's policies.
Tom from University of East London explained: "We get fines for having parties but the university management is wrecking the university. They are getting rid of Barking campus without finding students another place to live."
Nipa, a new Socialist Students member, said: "It's a scandal that we're forced to pay tuition fees. Our parents have been working all their lives paying taxes and at the end of it we are not even guaranteed a decent education. Why are they spending money on all these wars when the NHS is under-funded and when nurses are jobless and underpaid"?
Education minister Bill Rammell has been insisting that this year's intake of students shows a trend of greater access for students from poorer backgrounds. All the figures UCAS (University and Colleges Admission Services) has released show Rammell is lying.
There are 13-15,000 fewer students enrolling on courses. UCAS says that this is a direct consequence of top-up fees and a fear of debt. There has been a 7.4 % drop in applications from students from lower-income backgrounds.
Debt has caused suicides provoked by banks hassling students for overdraft repayments. The Edinburgh Student reveals that 40% of strippers and sex workers in Edinburgh are working to pay off student debt. Getting a degree no longer guarantees a decent future; one in ten students now believe they are so in debt they will never be able to buy a house.
New Labour and its friends, the fat cats, clearly cannot be trusted to run education and universities; they want students to pay to sort out the mess they are making while guaranteeing profits. In the drive for profit; research bringing in the highest income is prioritised and concentrated in fewer universities.
There has been a rise in interest in Science and Maths courses but New Labour's education policies have created "science and maths deserts" by cutting departments and courses.
Socialist Students fights for the scrapping of all fees and the writing off of all student debt; we demand an education system which is fully funded, publicly owned and democratically run at all levels, guaranteeing universal free education from nursery to university.
Socialist Students opposes the raising of the cap on top-up fees. We must challenge the whole idea of charging for education and build a mass movement linking up with education workers with a fighting strategy to defeat fees, cuts and closures and privatisation.
Join socialist students:
Tel: 020 8558 7947.
Socialist Students, PO Box 858, London E11 1YG for more info.
NUS demo: 29 October.
Assemble 11am at ULU, Malet Street, London WC1 - march to Trafalgar Square.
(Goodge St./Euston Square tubes)
Socialist Students meeting
How can fees be defeated?
Sunday 29 October, 3pm
The Clarence, 53 Whitehall, London, London SW1
In The Socialist 26 October 2006:
War and terrorism