Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 July 2007

Education - not safe in Brown's hands

MANY UNIVERSITIES are in financial crisis, student debt has risen to over £3 billion and there is massive pressure on students and their families. It is clear education is not safe in New Labour's hands!

Matt Dobson Socialist Students National Organiser

Gordon Brown, the new prime minister, has assumed office intent on driving full steam ahead with the privatisation agenda of the Blair government. This has already brought about a situation whereby 1% of the population own nearly a quarter of all marketable assets.

However Brown has made a number of small concessions to act as a fig-leaf for his pro-big business stance. He has responded to the anger felt by students with a new funding package of £400m that will be introduced from September 2008. There will be an increase in the number of students who can receive grants while they are studying. Graduates will be eligible for a "repayment holiday" of up to five years when paying back their loans.

These small improvements will help some students. It's not an accident that Brown's fig-leaves have been allocated to those who have fought and campaigned. He claims to be listening and to be changing but most students will not be fooled or satisfied by Brown's proposals. We want more!

Brown has brought the boss of Tesco into his new National Council for Education Excellence showing his real intentions for education. He aims to strengthen the links between education and business, ie offer big business further opportunities to profit out of public services.

Brown is expected to announce the lifting of the cap on top-up fees which means universities may charge up to £10,000 a year! The slight increase in the grants is almost insignificant in the face of this attack. Brown also has plans to sell off the student loan company to private investors who could hike up the interest rates on loans getting students into even bigger debts.

The extra funding is not going to solve the perilous position of struggling universities. Just days after the extra funding was announced a list of 100 universities facing financial crisis was released under the freedom of information act. The list predominantly included ex-polytechnics that are in this position because of the years of major underfunding by Tory and New Labour governments.

Having been told for years that there is no extra money for education, students will be surprised to hear that this £400m was previously unallocated.

£400m is a small part of what is needed to properly fund education but it does beg the question of what other money there is "unallocated" that could be used for public services like education or health. More to the point there are £billions being misallocated on a regular basis as money continues to be poured into war and nuclear weapons projects such as Trident.

The future for higher education under Brown is one where elite universities charge the highest fees and cater for the richest in society and the rest get underfunded universities and struggle with financial insecurity, debt and stress despite these concessions. That future will mean many thousands are denied their right to a decent education. That is not a future we can accept.

Socialist Students demands and fights for a fully publicly funded and owned education system. We call for all student debt to be immediately cancelled. We fight for the scrapping of all university fees and that all students receive a living grant.

Brown's proposals show that the government has money for services when they think it will boost their position in the polls. This shows more money can be found to properly fund higher education if political pressure is applied. But New Labour, like all the capitalist parties, would rather attack public services and protect the interests of big business than help ordinary students.

A mass movement based on mass action involving workers and students linking up with other struggles to defend public services could force Brown to scrap fees and fund higher education. The Campaign to Defeat Fees will go on the offensive in the autumn term organising protests and building the campaign starting at the freshers' fairs.

If you want to begin building Socialist Students and the Campaign to Defeat Fees in your university or college, book a stall at your freshers' fair now and contact Socialist Students at or 020 8558 7947 for more info.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 19 July 2007:

Build a new workers' party

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fight cuts threat to London hospitals

War and terrorism

'Strategic failure' in Iraq and Afghanistan

Socialist Party news and analysis

Can flood relief get Hull back on its feet?

Bolivian oil workers request solidarity

Visteon workers walk out

Metronet - bankrupt firm, bankrupt PPP

Postal workers' strike

Postal workers - fighting low pay, against privatisation and job cuts

Council cuts threaten schools

Lewisham schools: defending 'outdated' equality

Building resistance to schools closures in Cardiff

Socialist Party youth and students

Education - not safe in Brown's hands

Boost our pay: Organising for our rights at work

International socialist news and analysis

USA: The case for socialised medicine

Living in the GDR: Balancing between two different worlds

'War crimes' accusations by mine workers

Socialist Party workplace news

Glasgow social workers vote for indefinite strike

Defend democracy - stop the witch-hunt in UNISON

School dinners saved... for now

Socialist Party events

Socialism 2007

Come to Socialist Party summer camp


Home   |   The Socialist 19 July 2007   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleChild poverty to hit 5m by 2021 - strikes can stop the cuts

triangleNEU conference: Teachers vote to strike over pay and workload

triangleGoldsmiths students occupy and protest in support of UCU strikers

triangleNEU conference 2018: Strike to take on the Tories

triangleSouthampton asks "What will you do to stop education cuts?"


triangleCollege protest against job losses

triangleMoving look at school students' many perspectives on sexism

triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

triangleBristol and Bath students join detained asylum seekers' protest


triangleUCU members vote to end pensions dispute

triangleReject the deal - keep the action on

triangleStrike action forces bosses to retreat but keep the pressure on


triangleLecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay


triangleSheffield Socialist Party May Day meeting

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



College protest against job losses



Bromley library workers win strike campaign



UCU members vote to end pensions dispute



Usdaw conference 2018: time for new era of fighting trade unionism



Victorious Fearnville Fields campaigners thank the Socialist



Hull says no to war, no to austerity


The Socialist

The Socialist - a fighting, campaigning, workers' paper


Socialist Party

Building fund: £150,000 milestone smashed!


Fighting Fund

Give us your change (and more) to fight for system change!



Workers' victory over anti-union Scottish council



Avenue School strikers and parents win judicial review



Vote for a left, fighting PCS leadership



PCS rejects Acas offer - further strikes announced



Bromley libraries - indefinite strike action continues



Butterfields tenants join TUSC campaign

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018