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From The Socialist newspaper, 7 November 2018

University bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

Students demanding an end to Tory cuts and austerity in education. London, 17.10.18, photo Isai Priya

Students demanding an end to Tory cuts and austerity in education. London, 17.10.18, photo Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Costello, Manchester Socialist Party and Socialist Students

"A university going bust is more likely than at any other point in the last generation". These were the words of Nick Hillman - former advisor to Tory universities minister David Willets. Three universities across Britain have been found to have been facing bankruptcy, often relying on short-term loans to keep themselves above water.

The blame for this situation has been passed around constantly. Some have correctly linked this to Theresa May's disastrous hostile environment policy and the negative effect it has on the quality of life for international students. It is becoming clear, though, that this has much more to do with the ongoing

marketisation of our education system. With universities now reliant on attracting enough fee-paying 'customers', in the form of students, those struggling to enrol enough people face potential ruin.

Past Tory and Blairite governments have consistently pursued a policy of gradual backdoor privatisation of universities, selling education as a commodity to an increasingly debt-burdened clientele of students.

We need to be clear: if higher education is run on the basis of the market, a crisis of this sort is bound to happen. Education is not a commodity to be modelled on the endless and ruthless profit-seeking of the capitalist system.

The recent University and College Union and Unison ballots for strike action against declining pay and gender inequality in the workplace is part of the same struggle to save our education system. Despite action being blocked by Tory anti-union laws, the majority votes for action show the appetite that exists for a fightback. Students and staff are both under threat from a government that is determined to dismantle and sell off higher education.

Now is the time for a mass mobilisation of students and staff together, demanding publicly owned and fully funded universities as part of a plan to unseat the Tories and their rotten big business agenda.

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In The Socialist 7 November 2018:


International socialist news and analysis

Worldwide walkout at Google against sexual harassment

Pittsburgh Synagogue shootings: Unite to fight anti-Semitism and far right

Mexico: The movement of 68 and the massacre of Tlatelolco

CWI news in brief


Opinion

Nae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity

The Socialist inbox


What we think

Tories out - we need socialism!


News

Labour councils should use 14bn reserves to fight all cuts

University bankruptcy threat - kick the market out of education

Stand up against abuse - justice not racism

Care crisis cashing in


Workplace news

PCS Left Unity: Back Chris Baugh and Marion Lloyd for a fighting, democratic, lay-led union

Arriva Rail North strike hits 34 days of action

Cable workers' Halloween picket line attempts to 'scare' management into talks

Royal Bolton Hospital: Another victory against NHS privatisation

Occupy and demand nationalisation to save Devon shipyard

Unison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

Bradford uni strike


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hundreds march to save Blackwood leisure centres

Crowds turn out for Corbyn in Rugby

Thousands march against overnight closure of Shropshire A&E

Protesters drive far right out of Liverpool

Unions and campaigners challenge Southampton cuts inside Labour and out

Support the Socialist alternative, subscribe to the Socialist

East London public square threat halted


 

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Related links:

University:

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triangleUnison HE ballot: Anti-union rules block action

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

triangleStudents demanding an end to Tory cuts and austerity in education. London, 17.10.18. photo by Isai Priya

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