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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 December 2017

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

Socialist Students contingent on 15 November free education demo in London, photo Mary Finch, photo Mary Finch

Socialist Students contingent on 15 November free education demo in London, photo Mary Finch, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Hannah Davis, Birmingham Socialist Students

Less than a third of higher education students think their course offers value for money according to the National Audit Office. Its chief says universities would be accused of "mis-selling" if they were banks. This comes as no surprise!

University fees are skyrocketing, leaving students with debts at an eye-watering average of 50,000. In the meantime, course quality gets left behind as universities splurge.

There are pointless vanity projects like the University of Birmingham's Dubai campus. Or bumping up the already overflowing wallets of fat-cat vice-chancellors like David Eastwood - who 'earned' 426,000 this year, plus a university-funded mansion and chauffeur.

As if this wasn't enough, the Tories are now pushing on their plans to introduce intensive two-year undergraduate degrees - costing 11,000 a year.

These courses come with reduced holiday periods, meaning many students won't have time to earn as they study. Because the Blairites and Tories replaced free education and maintenance grants with fees and loans, work has become essential for many students to get by.

How will students find time for this on an intensive course - with even higher annual fees? It is obvious this is a move to pander to the greed-driven elite, not to benefit students.

The Tories claim students will save in the long-run because the overall fee is smaller and we can enter the workplace faster. They assume we are walking out of university and straight into a well-paid graduate job. In fact we are falling head-first into the gig economy.

Staff will also have to work extra hours, yet there is no offer of a pay increase to make up for this. In reality, this means pay is being cut.

Socialist Students called on Labour's shadow education secretary Angela Rayner to move a free education amendment to the last budget. This would have been an opportunity to mobilise students and push for the scrapping of fees. It was missed.

Socialist Students demands student fees and debt be scrapped, education cuts and sell-offs reversed, and a living grant for all introduced. We also fully support the members of lecturers' union UCU who are balloting for strike action against attacks on their pensions.

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In The Socialist 13 December 2017:


What we think

Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy


International socialist news and analysis

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907


Socialist Party news and analysis

Save our NHS

Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

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

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

Strikers rally in Liverpool

Unite day of action against blacklisting

Brighton victory

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

Teachers strike in Sheffield

Newham anti-academies strikes


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

South London health bosses' cover-up

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting


Christmas Quiz

The Socialist's 2017 quiz


 

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Related links:

Fees:

triangleSocialist Students LJMU victory

triangleNational Union of Students faces bankruptcy

triangleThe Tories' letting fee ban is full of holes - we need rent controls and council homes!

triangleStudents and workers unite and fight

triangleStudent leaders claim one million on the streets against Brexit - fight for a workers' exit

Market:

triangleUniversity bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

triangle'People's vote' should be a general election

triangleBig drugs companies dodge 3 billion pounds in tax

triangle10 years since the financial crash - the socialist answer to capitalist crisis

Cuts:

triangleGlasgow: huge turnout to fight closure of Whitehill pool

triangleSurrey: save our children's centres

Education:

triangleUCU: Vote Yes and Yes in the higher education pay and equality ballot

University:

triangleBradford uni strike

Socialist Students:

triangleSocialist Students conference date set

Tories:

triangle'Tories out' demo

Birmingham:

triangleWest Midlands Socialist Party conference

Universities:

triangleUnison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

Student:

triangleLibres y Combativas: striking for women's rights in the Spanish state

Higher Education:

triangleUCU: General secretary censured but anti-union laws frustrate strike ballot

Grants:

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay

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