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From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2007

Students can defeat fees

THE LIES go on! Blair maintains that the introduction of top-up fees has been vindicated and that his critics have been proved wrong. As usual his claims are based on dodgy evidence. UCAS figures showed a 6.4% rise in applications for next year but numbers applying don't prove that students love fees - far from it!

Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national coordinator

Students still aspire to get a decent education even if it means facing debt and poverty. Unfortunately, reality can hit home hard once term begins - we have spoken to many students and heard about their conditions. We have seen the protests against rent rises, cuts in tutor hours and departmental closures.

Recently, the Department for Education was named as one of the worst government departments. It had failed to collect vital statistics. There is no record of the effect that fees have had on students from working-class backgrounds. So Blair has no evidence to back up his claim!

In fact, a recent Financial Services Authority report showed that one in five students dropped out of their course. Amongst undergraduates who considered dropping out, financial difficulty was a strong factor for 34.4%. Blair says top-up fees are the "saviour of education" but students clearly disagree. Support for the Campaign to Defeat Fees backs this up as students seize the chance to have their say.

On 22 February, students are protesting across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland against fees. This day of action proves that students are willing to take action. The NUS has publicly supported the Campaign to Defeat Fees but this is not enough! The NUS has to match words with action and fulfil the aims of this campaign.

That is why students from all over London will be taking the Campaign to Defeat Fees declaration to the NUS offices on 1 March and students will be doing the same to their local student unions all over the country.

Declaration

Campaign to Defeat Fees declaration to NUS

We demand that NUS announces the dates for the following:

1. A national weekday demonstration in London called under the slogans "no to all fees, cuts, closures and privatisation" well in advance of the exam period this academic year.
2. A national demonstration called under the same slogans in the first term of next year in London that can be publicised during and after the freshers' fairs.

For both demonstrations we demand that NUS

1. Prints enough leaflets for every student in the country to have one and prints enough posters for every campus to be covered, for the use of student unions and Campaign to Defeat Fees activists to build support for the demonstrations.
2. Organises a speaking tour across universities, colleges and schools with representatives from the NUS and Campaign to Defeat Fees to speak to well publicised meetings to build support for the demo and the campaign.
3. Writes to all trade unions appealing for support and solidarity for the campaign and the demo.

We are campaigning against cuts and closures, privatisation and fees so there is a real opportunity for every person applying for university to actually get there and to get a high quality, publicly funded education.

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Finance appeal

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 22 February 2007:

Bush & Blair: Get out of Iraq

Iraq 'surge' doomed to failure

Italy: Thousands march against US military base


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

No to Trident!

North Korea: Talks achieve new accord

Anti-war, anti-nuclear, anti-capitalist? Read the socialist!


Socialist Students

Students can defeat fees

Another profit-making racket

Living in debt - with no advice

Defend further education


Socialist Party Congress

The politics of socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Justice for the Shrewsbury pickets

Children at the sharp end of British capitalism

Banking billionaires

Drug companies squeeze profits out of health

Hospitals crisis worsens

Fighting homophobia


Environment

Climate change - we have to act now


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

CWI world congress: How will new workers' parties be built?


Workplace news and analysis

Valentine's day protest

Unique Care workers plan more protests

Israeli postal workers storm trade union HQ


 

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Related links:

Students:

triangleTories target universities in free speech shakedown

triangleSocialist Students conference - postering

triangleStrike back for free education

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

triangleTurkey: Bogaziçi university students protest appointment of government loyalist as rector

Fees:

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

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

triangleRefund student rent and fees

triangleSocialist Students national meeting: Refund the rent, cancel the fees and fight for free education

Unions:

triangleWhere's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

triangleEffective testing and properly funded safety plan needed

triangleHow far can the Starmer counter-revolution go?

Trade unions:

triangleCovid workplace safety

Schools:

triangleJohnson's 'road map' for schools: Act together to protect safety

Closures:

triangleArcadia and Debenhams closures: Nationalise to save jobs and pensions

NUS:

triangleHow students can fight and win

Privatisation:

triangleSocial care: End privatisation and let workers decide how it's run

Education:

triangleSouthern new members meeting - a vivid illustration of the appetite for socialist ideas

Northern Ireland:

triangleCovid 'vaccine wars' underline failure of capitalist nation states to deal with the global pandemic

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