Course closures, funding cuts, job losses, fees…

Defend higher education The last 18 months, since the start of the economic crisis, have seen students and campus trade unions organising protest action in Britain on a scale not seen since the movement to oppose the introduction of tuition fees in 1997-1998. Why? Higher education faces a ‘fight for survival’ as reports show that funding could be cut by a third. Swingeing job cuts, course closures and even campus closures are threatened. Proposed cuts mean, for example, that the only department in the country which specialises in palaeography, the practice of deciphering and reading historical manuscripts, would be gone, denying society an understanding of history. {loadposition inside}

This year the government will complete its review of top-up fees. The Association of Graduate Recruiters, which includes the likes of Shell, Asda and JP Morgan, has called for a phased increase in top-up fees and for there to be no limit on university fees by 2020.

While students face increased fees as well as cuts, the Guardian has exposed how annual earnings for some university vice chancellors have doubled or even tripled over the past ten years.

A study reported in the Financial Times has shown that the two-tier education system in Britain costs more than £50 billion a year in the wasted potential of working class young people.

These articles show the process driving the ‘them and us’ education system and the need for a fighting programme for a decent and free education for all. The letter to David Lammy MP, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, is a response to his insistence that charging higher student fees is unavoidable.

 

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