The Socialist 23 November 2006
Public health not private profit
Stop the fat cats
No to cutbacks
Fight tuition fees
THE BOSSES' organisation, CBI, has complained about the government "wasting" billions on funding courses in Further Education (FE) colleges. A CBI spokesperson said: "We should be in the driving seat, making colleges compete for money and designing qualifications to meet our needs".
Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national co-ordinator
But the CBI shouldn't fret, the government has announced plans to cut funding for FE colleges! Labour also plan to give companies more say in running an increasingly privatised education system. These fat cats are licking their lips at the prospect of making big profits from education. US company, Kaplan, is one of several companies lobbying hard to establish the first privately-run universities in Britain.
Meanwhile education is suffering a funding crisis, and students are pushed into debt by tuition fees. Some students have even been driven to suicide, harassed by banks who each year make record profits of billions of pounds.
One in ten students believe they will never be able to buy a house but estate agents, Foxtons, is preparing to float on the stock market, a move that could net it's owner Jon Hunt a cool £400 million.
When the bosses demand funding for areas of education that increase their profits New Labour ministers act quickly, yet they are ignoring the rising anger of students about the expensive and underresourced state of further and higher education around the country.
Socialists believe in free, good quality, fully-funded education for all. In contrast, the establishment parties want to open up education system to "marketisation".
The Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Sarah Teather refers to students as "paying customers" and Baroness Ruth Deech (the 'independent' adjudicator for higher education) says she's 'tired' of students complaining about the standard of education they receive.
Students and education workers are looking for a fighting strategy to defeat fees and the effects of privatisation. That is why Socialist Students is aiming to build the Campaign to Defeat Fees on every campus and in every college; we want to work with activists, student unions and others who stand for free education to build local campaigns and to push the NUS to call a second national demo this year.
The Campaign to Defeat Fees is gathering momentum across the country. Socialist Students set up stalls at Thames Valley University, Kings College, Oxford University, Monoux College and Southampton University and were overwhelmed by the number of students signing-up to get involved in the campaign.
At Thames Valley University there will be an activists' meeting on 24 November to launch the campaign involving many international students who are paying £8,350 a year in fees. Students in Sussex are defending history courses; in Reading students protested against the closure of their Physics department; in Lambeth staff and students are uniting to fight £2.3 million of cuts.
We need to link all these struggles up in a national mass movement to fight for free education. Join us in that fightback.
Join Socialist Students
020 8558 7947
Socialist Students, PO Box 858, London E11 1YG for more info.
ISR / Socialist Students conference
sunday march 18 10am- 5.30pm.
put the date in your diary now!
Holloway Resource Centre
356 Holloway Road
London N7 6PA
tickets - £3 / £5
send cheques to po box 858, london e11 1yd
call 020 8558 7947 for more info
In this issue
New Socialist Party publication
The Socialist Interview
International socialist news
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news