New Labour cuts grants and student numbers

Submitted by AWL on 3 November, 2008 - 11:19 Author: Daniel Randall, Education Not for Sale steering committee

On Wednesday 29 October, the Government confirmed to the Guardian that it plans to slash eligibility for student grants, and cut student numbers by up to 10,000.

Higher education minister Jim Denham denies that this has anything to do with the economic crisis, but it is a clear indication of how New Labour plans to cut back as things get tight. Its shows how we need to take social wealth out of the hands of the bankers and capitalists so it can be used for social need. That goal is a long way off; but we begin now by fiercely resisting every cut, and demanding what students need.

On 22 October, Irish students brought Dublin to a standstill when 15,000 demonstrated against increased university registration charges, budget cuts and threats to reintroduce tuition fees. As a proportion of the membership of the Union of Students in Ireland, this is equivalent to over 200,000 in Britain; a stark contrast to the Blairite-led NUS’s total passivity in the face of New Labour attacks.

Education Not for Sale's call for a national student demonstration early next year, which is gaining support across the country, is more important than ever. Please add your or your organisation’s name, and get involved.

• For the statement, a list of signatories and more information see: www.free-education.org.uk/?p=561.

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