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From: The Socialist issue 823, 3 September 2014: Fourfold rise in youth on poverty pay

Search site for keywords: Tuition Fees - Student - Grants - Education - Students - University - Socialist - Coventry - EMA - Fees

Join the fight for the return of free education and student grants!

Non Frenguelli, Coventry Socialist Party and sixth-former

We now have to stay in compulsory education until we're 18, without EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance). There was a time when students were supported with a grant of 10 to 30 a week, depending on their parents' income, to help pay for school supplies and travel. This helped children from poorer families.

There are now apprenticeships that let students "earn while they learn", but usually way below the minimum wage. They aren't available widely enough to be a real option to many students.

When we finish sixth form or college, we face up to 9,000 a year in tuition fees if we go on to university and a possible debt of up to 53,000 at the end. We won't start paying this back until we're earning above 21,000 a year, but no one wants to start their adult life with that much debt hanging over them.

This will be a massive disincentive for poorer students. University is not the only option, but it should be a choice equally available to all.

Widening gap

The government's blatant discouragement of poorer students, will only lead to a widening of the gap between the rich and poor both in terms of wealth and education.

And what are our options after university? Housing benefit for under-25s has been slashed, so unless we can find a job that will cover rent (and no, a zero-hour contract will not do that) moving back in with our parents could be the only option.

How can we fight this? By joining opposition groups, through mass demonstrations and strikes, with continued resistance to what this government is trying to do to us.

The Socialist Party offers a real alternative to the current system and meets weekly throughout Coventry and in towns and cities across England and Wales.

We are continuously campaigning for a society built on the needs of the masses, not the wants of a rich few, for a socialist future.

If you're sick of the Con-Dems (and Labour's lack of an alternative) and want an alternative - you should think of getting in touch.

  • 020 8988 8777

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