SCRAP FEES – Join the Day of Action against Fees

23 09 2008

Students in third level education have never had it as bad as today. Faced with crippling tuition fees, mountains of debt, low pay and poor housing, it is no wonder more and more are opting out of university.

 

Since 1998, students have faced tuition fees and student loans, leaving them with average debts of over £12,000 upon graduation. This system, far from making higher education more accessible, has seriously disadvantaged students from poorer backgrounds. Students from more affluent families can afford to take out smaller loans and get more help with paying their debt off.

For details on the Day of Action please click below:

 


 
The introduction of top-up fees of over £3,000 increased average graduate debt to over £20,000, making gaining a degree even more daunting for working class students. This was demonstrated by a 17% drop in applications to universities, particularly high among those from low-income families, and poorer regions such as Northern Ireland.
 
A government review of top-up fees is now approaching, and guess which way they’re likely to go? That’s right, up! The Russell Group, which represents the richest universities, including Queen’s, has been pushing for an increase to as much as £10,000 a year. New Labour has already indicated that they are open to the idea. If this is allowed to happen, the astronomical debt getting a degree would entail would rule out university for working class people.
 
There is huge anger amongst students. There have been large protests, but most students’ union leaders at national and local level have no strategy to develop a real campaign that could mobilise the mass of students in halting and reversing this trend.
 
Top-up fees were supposed to ‘improve the quality of education’, but instead the trend across campuses has been cutbacks, privatisation and pay cuts. Lecturers have taken strike action over the miserly pay offers they’ve received. If a militant campaign is built on a national level which unites students and staff, the Government can be forced back, as the experiences of recent struggles of students in France, Chile and Greece have shown.
 
To achieve this, Socialist Students have launched the Campaign to Defeat Fees, which stands for free, quality public education, a living grant for students and decent pay for workers.

 

To move this campaign forward, a National Day of Action has been called for Thursday 16th October. Protests will be taking place on campuses across Britain and Northern Ireland. Join in the protest at your university!
 

Day of Action

 

Scrap Fees – Education is a right, not a privilege!

 

Queens 1pm Thursday 16th October outside Lanyon Building

Coleraine 1pm Students Union 

For more info contact:
Queen’s – Daniel on 07821058319
UU – Paddy on 07876146473

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