With around 730 students here at Burton and South Derbyshire College that will be affected by introducing the FE Loans system - we have joined in the campaign to say NO to FE fees! People who would like to get back into education and go onto University via an access to HE course will be hugely affected by this, and will end up having 2 student loans to pay off by the time they have finished their studies with no guaranteed job at the end of it. Adult learners in different circumstances who couldn't complete a level 3 or 4 course when they were younger being denied the opportunity to follow their dreams. People who want to study a course that wasn't around when they were under 24 will have to find a balance of having a student loan and trying to counteract that with having a job to pay for their families and to pay the loan off. If the government want to get people back into the workplace and improve the economy, this policy contradicts that.
This will increase pressure and stress on students who are studying these courses and affected by an FE loans system - which will then see an issue of students not completing their course because it's all too much for them.
We are carrying out a campaign to really focus on each individual and how they will/would be affected by the FE loans policy. Gathering case studies together to show how this is closing doors shut and scaring people away from the FE sector as individuals that want to strengthen their future simply cannot do so. We have also created an online petition (which you can sign too - http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/34587) which we are then arranging meetings with our local MPs to give an idea of how many students are against the introduction of a system that would only create more problems for the FE sector! This policy doesn't make any profit for the government and is denying people the education that they deserve, leaving the question of why to introduce this?
This is why I urge you to join in the campaign to say NO to FE Fees! I cannot put the feelings into writing about how much this will damage OUR colleges, OUR unions, OUR students! I can only hope that what is mentioned above highlights just a few of the issues that will be caused by introducing this policy. Let your students know about this - and I'm sure that they will turn round and echo the fact that the whole idea is ridiculous!
This is our first campaign with the NUS at Burton and South Derbyshire College Students' Union and the support from the students is fantastic, so don't be afraid in getting involved! Gather some thoughts from students in your colleges and take them to your local MPs, get in touch with them to arrange a meeting and make sure you let them know how your students feel about this! Get some statistics about how many students will be affected in your college by going to www.no2fefees.org.uk - whether it's 1 or 1000 students that would be affected in your college, everyone has a right to education! What if you were affected by this? How would you feel?
We are saying NO to FE fees! And I urge you to do the same - for YOUR college, YOUR students and for FE!