Tories keep student fees high

Submitted by Matthew on 4 October, 2017 - 10:31 Author: Gerry Bates

The Tory government has backed off from its talk of reducing university tuition fees to £7,500, or of trying to enforce a range of fees differing markedly between universities.

The only retreats it will make are to increase the income threshold above which ex-students start repaying from £21,000 a year from £25,000 from April 2018, and to leave the maximum fee from September 2018 at £9,250, rather than raising it to £9,500 as previously planned.

Fees wobble cathy n Thu, 09/21/2017 - 14:33

On 13 September Labour passed a motion in Parliament protesting at this year’s rise in tuition fees from £9,000 to £9,250 per year.

While the motion was not legally binding, it has been reported in the mainstream press as a dent to the democratic legitimacy of the government’s policy to raise fees in line with inflation.

Why we are marching

Submitted by cathy n on 21 September, 2017 - 2:09 Author: Ruaraidh Anderson
Student demonstration

Higher Education has been devastated by recent reforms. Further Education has been hit even harder.

We’re facing staff cuts, course cuts, rent hikes in halls, a student mental health crisis, institutions catering to the interests of big business at the expense of staff and students.

All of these have their roots in or have been exacerbated by rising fees, debt and marketisation. They all have their solution in a free, accessible and democratic education system. That’s why we’re marching on 15 November.

Cut the rents! cathy n Thu, 09/21/2017 - 14:06

A consistent trend across universities is the skyrocketing of rent in university halls.

There is no reason why rent should be so high and increasing at the rate it is.

So why is my rent so high? Since 2010 direct funding to universities has been completely cut and now universities are entirely reliant on your £9,000+ fees for funding. Whereas before university funding was always guaranteed, now it is insecure — universities now need to spend copious amounts of money on PR, visit days and brochures, to attract your loans.

University marketisation sparks brutal campus cuts cathy n Thu, 09/21/2017 - 14:00
Demonstrating for free education

Across the country, university bosses are announcing cuts to jobs, courses and departments.
Teesside has forced all of its professors to reapply for their own jobs and banned their trade union from a meeting to discuss it. Durham wants to recruit 4000 more students while cutting staff. The Open University plans to slash a quarter of its budget, meaning swathes of jobs, to pay for a “digital transformation” plan.

Many of these universities are in good financial shape, and the government has not recently cut overall funding. So why are the cuts happening?

Industrial news in brief AWL Wed, 06/14/2017 - 14:04

Cleaners at the London School of Economics are celebrating a victory. They will be brought in-house and become employees of LSE from Spring 2018.

Labour and free education Matthew Wed, 05/31/2017 - 09:14

NCAFC activist Cosmo Seamus explains why the Labour Party’s manifesto commitment to free education and a National Education Service is important and badly needed.

Industrial news in brief Matthew Wed, 05/24/2017 - 12:56

Cinema workers at East Dulwich Picturehouse in south London will strike on Saturday 27 May to coincide with the opening of the new Pirates of the Caribbean film. Workers at the other cinemas involved in the dispute have just voted for further strikes, and will be on strike on 3-4 June to coincide with the Sundance Film Festival, which Picturehouse hosts.

Labour: rebuild the welfare state

Submitted by Matthew on 24 May, 2017 - 11:53 Author: Gemma Short

The welfare state created by the 1945 Labour government was a little bit of the “political economy of the working class” carved out of a still capitalist economy (a phrase Karl Marx first used to describe the victory of the fight for a ten-hour working day).

To some extent the ruling class has been forced to accept a minimal level of state provision. There is a constant battle over what proportion of profits is redirected, over who should receive support, and what sort of support is given. The ruling class has been winning that battle for some time.

Industrial news in brief

Submitted by AWL on 17 May, 2017 - 11:12 Author: Gemma Short, Charlotte Zalens and Peggy Carter

Staff at Manchester Metropolitan University will strike against job cuts on 24 and 25 May, against a backdrop of hundreds of jobs at risk across the sector. Manchester University is planning to cut 171 jobs; up to 150 are at risk at Aberystwyth; 139 at the University of Wales Trinity St David; Sunderland, Durham and Plymouth are all looking for voluntary redundancies.