Reports and Campaigns
Reports and campaigns:
For sale: university places
Tory education minister David Willetts' latest crackpot idea to make more money out of young people's education is to allow universities to charge rich students more for extra places. The suggestion is that the best universities could open up more places and charge some British students as much as international students, who sometimes pay five or six times as much. They wouldn't be eligible for any student loan, meaning it would only be an option for the richest few. Willetts, trying to pass this off as something that will help poorer students, has said that this will leave spaces free for others. In reality this is just a way for the rich to buy their way around the shortfall of university places and yet again puts those with money at a huge advantage for continuing to higher education.
NUS executive to Labour councillor
Aaron Kiely, who was recently elected to the National Executive Committee of the National Union of Students, has now also been elected as a Labour councillor in Ockendon ward in Thurrock. Despite calls by Socialist Students and others, Aaron did not commit to a programme of voting against cuts if elected councillor.
The government is slashing public services and many votes for Labour express an opposition to the cuts programme. But unfortunately the record of Labour councillors is far from convincing on this score. So far, no Labour councillor on a Labour-led council has voted against cuts.
Students, just like everyone else, need political representatives to stand up for their interests and support their struggles. Student representatives must oppose all cuts, not just those in education. Only by taking this principled stand can a movement be built which can defeat attacks on education.
Mullion Youth and Community Centre to close
On 29 March the trustees and staff at Mullion Youth and Community Centre (MYCC) were informed that the charity running it was going into administration and that the centre would be closed at the end of the day three days later!
At a public meeting about MYCC on 16 March, local Conservative councillor Carolyn Rule, who is close to the longest standing trustee at the centre, insisted that the centre just needed some assistance to keep it going - all it would take was a disco and table-top sale here and there. A 'friends of' group was established and people signed up to 'do their bit'.
The councillor also told the 50-strong audience that the centre, which houses the only nursery in Mullion, the largest village in Cornwall, and the only provision outside schools for youth on the peninsula, would not get any assistance from Cornwall council. Apparently, "if the community wouldn't run it, the community wouldn't have it".