Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/795/18032
Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February
Part of a week of action opposing student loan privatisation
The Student Loan Company (SLC) is up for sale. Not content with charging us £9,000 a year fees for increasingly cut to pieces education, £100 million worth of bursaries, a lifeline for the poorest students, could be gone come September.
SLC privatisation could see our student loan conditions retrospectively changed, pushing students and graduates deeper into debt.
In public, the government claims privatisation will not affect students. But behind closed doors, leaked documents have revealed plans to allow potential new owners to charge graduates whatever interest rates they like, regardless of their original loan agreement.
Selling off and privatising student loans represents a further nail in the coffin for the provision of public education.
If privatisation is completed, the government will play almost no role in the funding and provision of higher education.
Instead, students will have to rely on unscrupulous loan shark-style finance companies or rich parents.
This transformation of universities from public institutions of learning to business bodies, competing in a market for 'customers', is already having a profound impact on the nature of the education they provide.
Recently, students at the University of London were faced with brutal police violence when peacefully demonstrating.
In response, thousands of students joined 'Cops off Campus' protests. The two issues are related. Democracy and protest have no role to play in this new marketised education system.
Critical thinking and academic freedom are inconvenient luxuries in a profit driven system.
But these attacks can be beaten. Student activists have called a week of action against Student Loan Privatisation.
Socialist Students is coordinating protests, occupations and stunts to say 'drop the debt, stop privatisation' on Thursday 6 February. This could be the launch pad for a mass campaign.
On the day of action Socialist Students will also be demanding that the National Union of Students does its job and organises a national student demonstration to end student debt as well as to defend the right to protest.
Our movement must say education is a right, not a privilege. This is the fight against student loan privatisation, but it's the fight against fees, cuts and marketisation as well.
Things can be different. The super-rich 1% should be made to pay for their crisis. Socialist Students says grants not loans, free education not fees and cuts. We can win fully funded, publicly owned, democratically run, free education for all.
- Save our bursaries - stop all cuts
- Stop the student loan sell-off - keep the profiteers off student debt
- No interest rate hikes - no decrease in repayment thresholds
- Bring all privatised sections of the loan book back into public ownership and cancel student debt
- Fully funded, publicly owned, democratically run universities, free to all students
- Fight for free education
- Grants not loans! For publicly funded living grants
- No to all cuts and privatisation on our campuses
- We need a national student demonstration organised by NUS under these demands
- No to capitalism. For a socialist world, where the big monopolies are taken into public ownership, the economy is democratically planned and resources are used to meet the needs of all humanity
Socialist Students national conference
Rally for Revolution: Saturday 1 February, 6pm-8pm
Socialist Students national conference: Sunday 2 February10am-5pm
Come along to the Socialist Students national conference. We'll be discussing and debating the big issues affecting students - student loan privatisation, #CopsOffCampus, cuts and housing, the thirst for socialism and Marxism among students and young people, the battle for ideas on university campuses, Russell Brand's call for revolution, and how we can build a fighting and democratic NUS!
The event is open to all members of Socialist Students on any school, college, or university campus.
The whole weekend will be held in the Epicentre - 41 West Street, Leytonstone, London, E11 4LJ
If you would like to attend, send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
In The Socialist 22 January 2014:
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