Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/555/6583

From The Socialist newspaper, 5 November 2008

New Labour retreats on promises to students

New university places to be capped

When Gordon Brown took over as prime minister in July 2007 his promises to help students were met with a fanfare. But that was then. Now the government has capped new university places to 10,000 from autumn 2009, 5,000 less than expected, due to a budgeting crisis and the cost of borrowing to bail out the banks.

Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser

An expansion of grants came into effect with this year's intake of students. Students from families with incomes of up to 25,000 are entitled to the maximum grant of 2,825 a year. But in reality bureaucratic, unfair means testing, results in many students missing out on money. The previous threshold was a family income of 17,500.

Showing what a low wage economy we live in, this year a third of students were entitled to the full grant. A further third of students with family incomes up to 60,000 a year receive a partial grant on a sliding scale, although this will be reduced to 50,020 from autumn 2009.

It appears New Labour drastically underestimated the number of poorer students who need to claim grants. The money made available for these grants isn't enough to meet the demand of rising admissions, which were up by 9.7% this year, though for the first time this year UCAS figures included nursing students. The government claims it is short of 100 million and that, with a national debt piled up to 685 billion, it can't borrow any more for public spending.

The admissions rise clearly reflects the aspirations of young people from poorer backgrounds to have the benefits of higher education.

Socialist Students has consistently warned that, while we support any increase in grants for students, limited reforms are not enough to meet the demand that exists. We also pointed out that whatever New Labour promises in order to gain popularity for election purposes, is likely to be taken away.

Action needed

Cutting the number of new university places and denying students financial assistance they were promised will not go unnoticed. The government should expect huge anger.

Students will be asking what right the government has to take away the money that it promised them. They will wonder why the government is preventing them going to their university of choice because rich bankers have been bailed out.

John Denham, the universities minister, has devoted whole sections of his department's website to lecturing students about managing their finances, perhaps he should take a look at it.

The National Union of Students leadership has merely stated its concern about any cuts in grants or university places. This is a disgrace. Let's have some action!

The NUS should follow the example of students and pensioners in Dublin who met the Irish government's budget cuts with a national demonstration. We need to build a broad campaign to defend the right to free quality education for all. See www.socialiststudents.org.uk/cdf for information about the Campaign to Defeat Fees, initiated by Socialist Students.

Socialist Students says:

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - 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.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • 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.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 5 November 2008:

Striking against low pay


US election

Obama wins, neo-cons routed in US presidential elections

George Bush's toxic legacy

If Obama wins - Looking beyond the hope bubble


Socialist Party campaigns

Labour bashes lone parents

Canary Wharf: Low paid workers welcome socialist campaigners

Sri Lanka: Acting out oppression

What recession?

Fast news


Marxist analysis: history

1918 revolution: When German workers entered the stage of history


Socialist Students

New Labour retreats on promises to students

Victory over Tory school closure plan

Austria: Socialist players suspended from football club for anti-fascist activities

Year 9 SATs abolished: Now get rid of the rest!

Republic of Ireland: Student fightback


Socialist Party workplace news

Liverpool City Council: Housing maintenance workers fight for jobs

Fighting for a socialist solution to the crisis in the car industry

Shipyard strike for fair wage

Striking for trade union rights

Turkish dockers fight workplace 'massacres'


 

Home   |   The Socialist 5 November 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Students:

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

triangleCoronavirus - a students' charter

trianglePlymouth students discuss rent strike

triangleSocialist Students speaking tour

Labour:

triangleLessons from the Corbyn experience

triangleHull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

triangleCrisis in council services: Labour must fight or stand aside

triangleTrades council debates workers' political representation

Socialist Students:

triangleTory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

triangleStudents and workers out together on Budget Day, 11 March

triangleSocialist Students says democratise the climate strike movement

Socialist:

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Workers' safety before bosses' profits

triangleSE Birmingham Socialist Party: Role of the community and voluntary sector

University:

triangleSouthampton: University workers win full pay for casual staff

Grants:

triangleTheresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students

Grant:

triangleThem&Us

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

27/5/20

Fighting Fund

We need readers' support to fight capitalist crisis

27/5/20

Ferries

Fight P&O's billionaire bosses' jobs cut plan

27/5/20

Schools

Schools aren't safe

27/5/20

Energy

Energy firm plans to make 2,600 redundant

27/5/20

Hull

Hull Trades Council debates workers' political representation

27/5/20

Covid

Eerily quiet before second wave - don't reopen schools!

25/5/20

Coronavirus

No return to unsafe construction sites

22/5/20

Obituary

Mick Cotter 21-9-57 to 20-5-20

22/5/20

Rolls Royce

Strong union response needed against job cuts

20/5/20

CWU

Postal workers' action results in double victory for union

20/5/20

NSSN

Organising to fight for workplace safety

20/5/20

Peterborough

Posties walk out in Peterborough after manager tests positive

20/5/20

Covid

Johnson claims workplaces safe but HSE cancels inspections

20/5/20

Protest

Safe protests against Tory corona chaos continue

19/5/20

Hull

Trades council debates workers' political representation

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

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

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

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999