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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 February 2007

SCRAP STUDENT FEES NOW

Build the Campaign to Defeat Fees

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Students are angry - fees are an unbearable burden and massive debts are a shadow over their futures. University used to be about securing a decent future by developing skills and talents; now 70% of students have to work in part-time jobs.

Matt Dobson Socialist Students national co-ordinator

Those who started this academic year and are paying top-up fees will have an average debt of 22,000. More than half of graduates will never be able to afford their own home because of huge debts.

Now Tony Blair's latest scheme is to "embed a culture of charitable giving" in universities by establishing endowment funds where the government will match every 2 of private finance with 1 from public funds. Then students will have the privilege of going cap in hand to beg for their studies to be financed.

Apparently, Blair is concerned about his legacy! Abolishing a free education system wasn't enough for him; he wants to be remembered for dragging education back into the nineteenth century when the rich controlled who had access to universities.

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New Labour claims charging fees is needed to pay for higher education. This is not true. There are enough resources to finance free, fully-funded, good quality education but New Labour is more interested in letting fat cats make super-profits and in spending up to 100 billion on Trident.

We need to fight back against fees and all attacks on education. The NUS has publicly stated that it supports the Socialist Student-initiated Campaign to Defeat Fees (CDF) and a number of student unions have passed the CDF motion to abolish fees as policy. Now they need to act on this by using their resources to build a movement with a fighting strategy to defeat New Labour's attacks.

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

NUS could build a mass movement capable of defeating fees and other attacks on education but it needs to use its resources to get ordinary students involved in the campaign and to link up with the struggles of workers to defend all public services.

To begin with, that means making the 22 February day of action called by CDF as big as possible by campaigning and mobilising students to protest. The day of action will see students demonstrating across England and Wales and will show the potential to build a mass campaign.

Join the nationwide protests on 22 February; build the Campaign to Defeat Fees and organise a protest in your university or college.

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In The Socialist 15 February 2007:

Scrap student fees now

Cardiff students build for 22 February

Students must link up with workers

'Saintly' Tesco


Campaign for a New Workers Party

A great step forward in Liverpool


War and terrorism

Bush threatens Iran over Iraq insurgency

100 billion Trident?

Angry refugees protest


Socialist Party feature

Ten years of the socialist: 1997-2007


Bird flu outbreak

Bird flu outbreak: Profits put before health

Job losses fear on turkey farms

Workers' health jeopardised


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fighting back against NHS cuts


Socialist Party news and analysis

Police raids dividing community

Save our school buses

84 million penthouse


International socialist news

Workers' strike declared illegal

HSBC imposes charges on aid to Palestinians


Workplace news and analysis

PCS action continues

Simclar workers fight sackings

EDS forced into 'U' turn on pay

Greenwich workers prepare to fight

Hackney UNISON


 

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Related links:

Fees:

triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangleSocialist Students actions against uni fees on Budget Day

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triangleMoving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

triangleBristol and Bath students join detained asylum seekers' protest

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