Students’ unions lobby in force on maintenance grants

Thursday 08-10-2015 - 13:25

Back on Friday 18 September hundreds of students, students’ unions and members of the public rallied together to lobby their MPs on the critical issue of the proposed scrapping of maintenance grants.

The activities led by students’ unions around the UK was impressive to say the least.

  • From Petroc College SU who ran a fantastic postcard campaign to help persuade their MP and put on the pressure to secure a meeting
  • To UCLAN SU who managed to get their MP, Andrew Stephenson, to agree to call for a debate in parliament, even though he didn’t agree with them
  • To Ayrshire College SU who have met and lobbied two of their MPs

As a movement we have taken an important first step in the campaign to stop maintenance grants being converted to loans, a move that will plunge poorer students in significantly more debt than their better off peers.

We know that black and women students will be most affected by the scrapping of these grants for half a million students. But the government has failed to anticipate or mitigate against this.

Some key figures;

  • On and around 18 September a total of 81 students’ unions, both FE and HE, were in contact with their MPs to set up meetings
  • Opposition parties and MPs came out against the proposals, increasing pressure on the government
  • 57 MPs were lobbied in person, including 24 Conservative MPs
  • A further 35 MPs were contacted, including 25 Conservative MPs, and SUs are chasing them up for meetings

You can find out more about your fellow unions’ activities on #CutTheCosts here.

Remember, this is just the first stage of the campaign. You may know also that NUS has issued legal action upon the government on the basis of its lack of assessment on the impact of this move upon students.

We will keep you updated on this judicial review and will be announcing the next steps of the campaign very soon…

The government’s proposals are not based on evidence and stand to negatively impact hundreds of thousands of students. Together we can stop this.


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