Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/845/20171
Fight tuition fees - support the TUSC alternative
Bridget Russell, Manchester Metropolitan University Socialist Students
Labour's recent announcement that, given a win at the up-coming elections, they plan on reducing tuition fees to £6,000 a year would be laughable to students if it was not a complete insult. These fees would still leave many students saddled with a lifetime of debt.
It was a Labour government who first brought in tuition fees for higher education. Between 1998 and 2010 Labour tripled tuition fees to upwards of £3,000.
The current maximum tuition fee stands at £9,000 under this coalition government - after Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg's infamous betrayal of his pledge to oppose any increase in tuition fees.
Understandably, students' attitude to Ed Miliband's 'promise' is the same attitude we have towards the Conservatives, Lib-Dems, and all the establishment parties: we don't believe a word they say!
Reducing student fees by a third is of little consequence in a system designed to make university unaffordable for people from working class backgrounds.
The shortfall to universities because of this £3,000 cut in fees will not be funded by the prospective Labour government. This will result in cuts to funding for courses. Can anyone see university chancellors offering to take a pay cut in order to cover the loss?
Once again it's students who will be asked to take the hit, not just monetarily but also in the quality of their over-priced education. The proposed reduction will not encourage more people to go to university, or help them get there. Indeed, very few current students expect much from any government after the general elections.
All of the establishment parties remain committed to pursuing austerity. Students stand among the ranks of those most affected.
The 'big three' parties have overseen a 20 year period of decline in public services for young people; everything from Sure Start centres and youth organisations having their funding slashed, to the continuation of the pitiful youth rate of the minimum wage. Even the Green Party has carried out cuts to council services in Brighton, and elsewhere. Students are beginning to search for an alternative.
In Manchester, students are finding that alternative in TUSC (the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition). Around 20 students are standing as council candidates in the May elections as part of a campaign to contest every ward in the city.
They are doing this on the basis of a no cuts agenda for both students and workers, as we understand that austerity doesn't just impact a person on one level but limits their chances from birth, through education and beyond.
We recognise that cuts are ruining the lives of the majority in this country, and we recognise that this must stop.
In The Socialist 25 February 2015:
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