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From The Socialist newspaper, 11 November 2010

No to 9,000 tuition fees: Fight for your future!

 Campaign to Defeat Fees demo 25 February 2009, photo Naomi Byron

Campaign to Defeat Fees demo 25 February 2009, photo Naomi Byron   (Click to enlarge)

THE GLOVES are off with regards to university fees. The Con-Dem coalition has announced that it intends to triple the cap on fees to 9,000 a year. If their plans are carried out a three-year degree could set students back more than 50,000, including the cost of living.

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser

This is a vicious assault on the right of young people to access education. Hundreds of thousands will face exclusion purely because of a lack of financial means. Those who are lucky enough to be able to attend will find themselves saddled with three decades of crippling debt - almost the equivalent of taking out a mortgage!

If the proposals are allowed to go through, a 'free market' system will run riot in our universities. Even more so than now, institutions in the elite Russell Group will become an exclusive club for rich, ex-private school pupils. Even many with relatively well paid parents in professional work will find 9,000 a year to be beyond their reach.

Some institutions will charge lower fees (still hugely increased from at present), but due to swingeing 80% cuts to the teaching grant, what they can offer students will be unrecognisable as a university education.

As The Socialist warned, the Liberal Democrats have disgracefully and utterly betrayed those who voted for them in the last general election, believing their promise to abolish tuition fees. On paper there are enough MPs who pledged to vote against fees to stop this increase, but only under huge pressure from a mass movement will the MPs be forced to keep their promise, even if it means breaking the coalition.

 Campaign to Defeat Fees demo 25 February 2009, photo Naomi Byron

Campaign to Defeat Fees demo 25 February 2009, photo Naomi Byron   (Click to enlarge)

Young people and working people will not simply accept this attack on their right to a decent future. Tens of thousands of students and education workers are expected to march through the streets of London on 10 November.

The 10 November demonstration must be just the start of the fightback. A mass campaign against education cuts and fees organised on every campus and in every college, united on a national level, is needed.

Mass protests and demonstrations, student strikes and occupations, industrial action by education workers and unity with every group of workers fighting cuts, will all be needed in the struggle to defend education.

On 24 November, when fees are next discussed in parliament, Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students are calling for a day of mass demonstrations and student walk-outs to take place throughout the country.

We need to begin organising to build for this day of action immediately. We need to fight to defend every job, course and service, to stop a rise in fees and demand free education. Now is the time to build the campaign - organise to fight for your future!

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 11 November 2010:


Socialist Students

9,000 student fees: we won't pay!

No to 9,000 tuition fees: Fight for your future!

Ireland: Largest student protest in a generation


Anti-cuts campaign

Stop the Con-Dems' slave labour scheme

What the capitalist cuts really mean

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference


Socialism 2010

Socialism 2010: An inspirational weekend


Youth

Youth Fight for Jobs and Socialist Students conference

Leeds: Stop the closure of Union Books

Goldsmiths students occupy town hall


Socialist Party editorial

London firefighters' dispute: the fight is not over

Massive anger must be organised into coordinated trade union action


Socialist Party workplace news

London tube strike - picket line reports

BBC staff fight for pensions: picket line reports

Protest at law centre closure

Fight the mail centre cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Vendetta continues against Tommy Sheridan, socialist fighter

Angry campaigners discuss Stroud fightback

NHS - workers looking for a fighting lead

Fast news


Socialist Party feature

Attacks on disabled people's rights


International socialist news and analysis

Scotland: potential to build a mass movement against cuts

US elections: Bankruptcy of Democrats leads to spectacular fall


Socialist Party review

Review: Call Mr Robeson: A Life, with Songs


 

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Related links:

Fees:

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleSocialist Students day of action

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

triangleFees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

Tuition Fees:

triangleSocialist Students open letter to Rent Strike network

triangleRefund the rent, cancel the fees, for fully funded, publicly owned education

triangleFight for your future at the online rally

triangleStudents: Give us our money back

Education:

triangleFurther education set for industrial action over pay

triangleDerby academies closed by strikes against brutal cuts and changes

triangleBrighton: Moulsecoomb strike against academisation

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triangleSheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure

triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

Cuts:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Flooding, homelessness, cuts... Walthamstow needs a re-set - what's the socialist plan?

Socialist Students:

triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

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