Thursday 09-03-2017 - 12:30
Monday’s decision by the House of Lords to de-link the TEF and fees is an incredible victory for the student movement. It is by no means a complete win, but it is a major concession that demonstrates the power of our movement when we dare to be bold and play to win.
What we have demonstrated through this campaign is that our movement is at its best when we deploy a diversity of tactics. Campaigning makes our influence stronger, not weaker. We cannot ignore the context to this decision: thousands of students refusing to fill in the NSS and allow our feedback to be used against us.
The NSS boycott campaign was mentioned as a key factor during the debate in the House of Lords, and over the last few months the government and those responsible for the NSS have become increasingly rattled by our campaign. There is no decision between being in the room and building a grassroots movement. Crucially, the boycott campaign has contributed to shaping the political landscape through amplifying our demands. This helped lay the foundation for an incredible lobbying effort from Students’ Unions across the UK, and ensure that we secured this vital concession.
It’s now crucial that we maintain the energy of this campaign and ramp up the pressure.
What can you do?
There will be a debate in the House of Commons in about a month. Keep an ear to the ground as we will be planning activity for the day as soon as it is announced. Until then, try and get in touch with your MP and let them know your stance. You can find a template letter that students can use, a briefing with all the next steps and all the details of the amendment vote in our response here.
The NSS boycott campaign has made a key contribution to this success. If you are not already taking part, it’s never too late to start! You can find all of our boycott resources at our campaign hub. Although some students will have already filled in the survey, they can still retract their submission at any point up to the closing date by sending an email to email@example.com.
The Liber8 priority campaign is about shining a light on the key issues affecting our students today, and helping to develop your campaigns to tackle them. One of these strands is about challenging the TEF and combating the effects of marketisation. To that end, we are hosting an Education Activists Training Day on 20 March at Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union. This event is free and open to all officers and activists. You can register and find out more details here.
Malia and Sorana