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From The Socialist newspaper, 24 March 2010

Cuts to higher education announced: Students fight back

On Thursday 18 March the higher education funding body HEFCE announced a reduction of 573 million on the 2009-10 budget. Education minister David Lammy said: "like everyone in the current financial climate, institutions have to do their fair share of belt tightening". But while higher education funding is being slashed the bankers, who triggered and worsened the economic crisis, get massive bonuses!

Education is a right, not a privilege, and it was fought for and won by working class people. Socialist Students organised protests and campaigning at around 25 places on the day of the HEFCE announcement, to call for a mass campaign involving students and workers to fight these attacks. Here are reports of some of the protests.

Newcastle

Around 40 students and staff attended a protest called by the Newcastle Free Education Network. Newcastle University faces a 1% cut from its budget next year. The physics and philosophy departments have already been closed.

Matt Perry of Newcastle UCU lecturers' union criticised the management's attack on job security. Cara Nurse, from the young members' network in the civil servants' PCS trade union, linked education cuts to the wider attack on public services. Unfortunately Newcastle student union council has refused to support the campaign against job losses.

200 staff and students held a protest at the Ashington campus of Northumberland College. All 410 staff members face the threat of redundancy, with only some to be re-hired on worse contracts.

Ian Pattison, Newcastle Socialist Students

Leicester

Understandably a lot of people are disgusted at the cuts being made to higher education funding and our protest had a significant impact on students. 802,908 is to be cut from our total 'teaching funding' on top of the closure of the German department which has already taken place.

Students need a fighting student union to represent them but unfortunately a student union officer claimed to support this closure because the department is "not sustainable". When questioned on the student union's opinion of the latest cuts, this representative said he did not know anything about it!

Socialist Students has now met more students who want to get involved in the campaign.

Becci Heagney Leicester Socialist Students

Leeds

Leeds University Against Cuts, a broad anti-cuts campaign that Socialist Students participates in, organised a protest of around 30 activists. On top of HEFCE's cuts to the teaching budget, the vice chancellor, who gets 315,000 a year in pay, pensions and perks, is threatening a further 35 million cuts package. Activists are making plans to build the campaign next semester with a teach-in and participation in the Leeds May Day demonstration.

Chenel

David Lammy is also Labour MP for Haringey and holds his surgery at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (Chenel, formerly Conel). But on Friday 19 March, in the face of a Socialist Student-organised protest against education cuts, he cancelled. Is there something he doesn't want to discuss?


Our Education Under Attack:

why a mass campaign is needed

How to fight education cuts & increases in fees

A new pamphlet - get in touch for speakers for meetings etc
socialiststudents@hotmail.com

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


In The Socialist 24 March 2010:

Strikers can beat BA bosses

BA cabin crew can win

Message of support for striking BA workers from Socialist Party MEP Joe Higgins:

Striking British Airways cabin crew pickets speak to The Socialist


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Support trade union and socialist alternative: Workers reject main parties

Trade unionist and Socialist Coalition

Salford: The growth of 'Hazel Must Go!'

Woolwich and Greenwich: For a workers' MP on a worker's wage

Stoke Central: Fighting for the millions not the millionaires

Trade unionist and Socialist Coalition general election launch rally


Parliamentary Sleaze

'MPs for hire' scandal

Hewitt's big business alliance

New workers' party needed

MPs: in it for the money


Anti-racism

Far-right EDL outnumbered in Bolton, police try to even the odds!

EDL attend anti-racist meeting

Nottingham anti-EDL anti-BNP conference


Socialist Students

Sussex: Students gain a victory - but fight must go on!

Cuts to higher education announced: Students fight back

Socialist Party youth meeting

On the march against cuts


Marxist analysis: history

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International socialist news and analysis

Massive rejection of Sarkozy's policies presages a 'third round on the streets'

Obama's neutered health bill limps through


Socialist Party news and analysis

Nottingham council targets the vulnerable

Dickens is back: Implications of poverty revealed in London

Barking council: Late developers

Battling against school academies in Hastings


Socialist Party workplace news

HP workers take further action

Rail safety disputes


 

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