Friday 23-09-2016 - 11:37
NUS President shares UK experiences of HE reforms and post-referendum racism with the general assembly of the Federation of Student Associations General (FAGE).
Earlier today (Friday 23 September), NUS President Malia Bouattia spoke to an audience of 300 members of the FAGE network in Paris, which included delegates from French professional syndicate and the French Minisrty.
Addressing the general assembly of FAGE - one of the national students’ unions in France - Malia, who was invited to share her knowledge on the topics of Brexit and on higher education funding and reforms in the UK, said:
“The issues concerning HE proposals in the UK and the rise of nationalism and racism around the EU referendum resonate with questions faced by your own movements here [in Paris], with the possibility of fee rises, the cutting of grants, and the use of Brexit by the Fascist national front to mobilise anti-immigrant racism”
Despite the current political landscape in the country being unpredictable, next year will see the French public elect their next President.
The Front National are campaigning for ‘FRxit’, with nationalism and racist justification. Meanwhile, many presidential candidates are not ruling out the prospect of raising tuition fees from €200 to €8,000 and replace the current grant system to a loans system.
FAGE are strongly against this and want to prepare their student activists to influence the public debate about higher education.
Appearing alongside Malia today were Alain Montarant (President, Mutual Life Insurance of trade and Industry), Laurent Berger (President, CFDT - French Démocratic Confédération of Labor), Nicolas Hulot (French ecologist activist) and Nadia Bellaoui (General Secretary, Education Ligue).
NUS is working to build international links to oppose the drive to make students pay for an education that should be accessible and free to all.