Reports from Fees Protest

11 12 2008

ColeraineOver 200 students protested against fees at the University of Ulster while protests by QUBSU and NUS-USI are called off!


In Coleraine the protest initially was called against the annual inflation increase in fees and the cap on fees being lifted next year. Students then marched to the Main Entrance of the University and staged a sit down protest. The students demands of ‘UUC – No more fees!’ and ‘Fees, fees, fees – No, No, No!’ went far and beyond just the £80 increase this December. One student said, “What difference does £80 make when I’m £18,000 in debt!”


The cop out of the QUBSU and NUS-USI in backing out of the protest came after the Department for Employment and Learning allowed a student representative onto the independent review panel on fees. This has taken the pressure off Reg Empey and the Assembly by allowing them to slink away without any challenge fees.


Socialist Society members and students who came along expecting the protest had their own without the students union. This latest stunt of QUBSU shows how dedicated the union officials are to fighting for students rights. The only information about the protest against fees on the QUBSU’s website was to call it off!


The Socialist Society stands for a real campaign for free education independent but supported by the students’ unions. We need a movement that mobilises students, school students and workers on campus against fees and for free properly funded quality education. If the tops of the students’ unions don’t do something ordinary students will. 




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