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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 January 2014

Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February

Part of a week of action opposing student loan privatisation

Young people march for a future, photo Senan

Young people march for a future, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Socialist Students

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.

Marketisation

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.

We demand:


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 socialistudents@gmail.com

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 22 January 2014:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Real living wage now

Capitalism is a system in crisis

Pay me - I'm a banker!

What exactly is the point of Labour?

Stop the NHS sell-off

Bedroom tax loophole: Can legal tactics be effective?

Fracking - profiting from environmental destruction

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt referendum: no enthusiasm for new constitution

"Ireland is a success story" rhetoric is based on spin


Education

Stop the student debt spiral - day of action 6 February

Youth Fight for Jobs campaign in Croydon

An open letter to Tristram Hunt


Socialist Party workplace news

Transport workers have power to defeat cuts

Teachers need a date for national action

Teachers strike against threatened redundancies

NUT strikes against management "observations"

More action needed to defend Probation Service

Publicity alone can't save sacked union branch official

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lincoln marches against racism and fascism

Protest against Atos 'assessments' on 19 February

Salford workers and environmentalists challenge council

Stop cuts in Kent

Carlisle petition


Readers' comments and reviews

Benefits Street: A caricature of poverty

Leeds' forgotten dispute: The 1913-14 Corporation Strike

Robert Burns, insurrectionary poet


 

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Related links:

Socialist Students:

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triangleSocialist Students national conference

triangleSocialist Students day of action demands free education

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Cuts:

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University:

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

Fees:

triangleSocialist Students actions against uni fees on Budget Day

NUS:

triangleFight for free education

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