University of Sussex

20 Sociaist students activists marched round Sheffield city centre against tuition fees and to restore EMA, joined by NUT rep, photo Sheffield Socialist Students

20 Sociaist students activists marched round Sheffield city centre against tuition fees and to restore EMA, joined by NUT rep, photo Sheffield Socialist Students   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

As students, we are facing one of the toughest periods in living memory, with fresh assaults on higher education announced almost every day.

The current climate of cuts and austerity highlights the necessity of building a powerful Socialist Students group.

We will be working even harder to campaign and support the interests of students and staff on campus, as well as the rest of the community.

For those of us involved in organising University of Sussex Socialist Students, the university’s recent freshers fair was an excellent opportunity to re-establish ourselves in a new academic year and to share our ideas with students, new and old.

We aimed to spread awareness about the anti-privatisation campaign at the university. Hundreds of students signed up for further information and to get involved in action.

Our follow-up meeting was attended by many enthusiastic new faces. This positive step forward will help both Socialist Students and the ever-more important struggle for students and staff against austerity, privatisation and cuts to grow.

Fred Groves, Sussex Socialist Students

University of East London

Between 17 and 21 September, Socialist Students held a freshers fair stall at the University of East London (UEL) Docklands campus. 25 people joined UEL Socialist Students, a huge success. 71 students bought the Socialist Students magazine, Megaphone, and over £100 was raised in donations.

We got most support for the campaign of solidarity with international students at London Metropolitan University who were threatened with potential deportation – something which people all across the world should be condemning.

There was also a lot of support for the campaign for a 24-hour general strike which would tell the Con-Dem government that we don’t accept the austerity that they are imposing on us.

Fifteen students came to the first meeting of UEL Socialist Students, about what socialism is. After a suggestion by one of the students at the meeting, our next one will be on the Rape Is No Joke campaign.

Kyle Williamson, UEL Socialist Students

Leeds University

At Leeds University, Socialist Students got a good response, with over 20 members so far and well over 100 people asking to go on our mailing list.

Friday 14 September was the first freshers event, the International Students Fair. We campaigned over the attacks on their counterparts at London Met University, who face potential deportation in the coming months.

The next four days of freshers fairs were especially rewarding and encouraging. The first Socialist Students meeting of the year, on ‘What is socialism?’, was attended by 16 people.

Matt Booth, Leeds University Socialist Students

First private university opens doors – but not many go in

The UK’s first private university, the New College of the Humanities, opened its doors on 24 September.

But it seems the idea is not as popular as philosopher AC Grayling, the founder, may have hoped – only 60 students have enrolled for the £18,000 a year courses, out of a planned 200.

A group of protesters threw eggs at the windows as the students arrived and held signs such as “privatisation=poverty”.

We need a mass campaign of students, education workers and the trade unions to fight for a fully funded, publicly owned and democratically run education system at all levels.