Tuesday 23-08-2016 - 10:25
A national demonstration will take place in central London on Saturday 19 November, organised by NUS and UCU. In the face of damaging government cuts and reform, we need to show that we are United for Education.
Education is under attack like never before: FE colleges have closed, jobs have been lost and students are being forced deeper and deeper into debt by a government happy to see companies making profit off the back of student poverty. It’s time to take a stand.
Our members have told us enough is enough, and at National Conference in April voted to unite in support of a Further Education Zone motion to hold a national demo to fight back.
So on 19 November, we will be joining the University & College Union (UCU) to march under the banner of United for Education and demand free, good quality further and higher education, accessible to all.
To help you mobilise and take part in this powerful movement of students and staff, we will be staying in regular touch with information and resources and answering your questions. We’ll do this by email, but you should also regularly check the demo pages on connect for up to date news, events and materials.
Here’s the first set of questions – do keep them coming because the clearer you are about the campaign, the more successful it will be.
What is the demo about?
Free, good quality education is a right for all, regardless of ability to pay and more than at any time before we have to fight for that. At National Conference, an FE motion demanded we stand up to a government that is waging war on education, threatening students’ futures. FE colleges have been cut to the core, with huge job losses and course closures, and a desperate need for investment that simply isn’t being provided.
In HE, tuition fees are rising and the government is forcing universities to run like businesses. Students are facing higher debt than ever before with maintenance grants and NHS bursaries scrapped, student loan terms changed and tuition fees set to reach £12,000 by 2026.
We cannot sit idly by whilst education is undermined. We have to take action.
What can SUs do to be involved?
Join us! By marching in large numbers, united with staff, we’ll send a clear message to Theresa May that we are a force too powerful to ignore.
We will show our support for international students and staff who are suffering disproportionately in this post-Brexit climate of heightened xenophobia. We will also demonstrate that we are United for Education across the world, as our demo is part of a series of student-led events taking place globally during November.
What are our policy asks?
We have three key asks:
• To invest in our FE colleges and sixth forms and stop college mergers
• To write off student debt and stop private education companies profiting from student fees
• To scrap the HE Bill, halt the rise in tuition fees and bring back maintenance grants
What else is planned to support the demo?
This demo is one tactic in a wider strategy, which involves constructive engagement and lobbying as well as direct action, to help us win a better deal for students. It will:
- Send a clear message to the government and Theresa May to invest in further and higher education.
- Be part of a longer term campaign and help to recruit activists.
- Show solidarity with international students and staff
- Contribute to a series of student-led events taking place globally during November
Find out how to get involved in NUS' ongoing campaigns on the HE Bill and FE area reviews. Also join our Regional Networks to plan the next stages of the campaign, which you register for here.
How will NUS and UCU help us to mobilise out students to come to the demo?
We have made a handy guide for SUs on how to get your students to the national demo, which includes everything you need to know, and more!