Monday, September 28, 2009
Ken Livingstone rejects CBI’s proposals for an increase in tuition fees as “disastrous for the economy”
Ken Livingstone has rejected these proposals out of hand and supports the Free Education Campaign’s calls for a shift in government funding priorities, to ensure Britain can have the necessary, quality, free system of higher education required.
Ken Livingstone said:
"The Confederation of British Industry’s proposals for higher education should be rejected out of hand. Their calls for students to pay £5,000 annual tuition fees and for the scrapping of the target for half of young people to enter higher education would be disastrous for the economy as well as blighting the life chances of tens of thousands of young people.
We need to be taking steps to make Britain’s economy more successful with greater levels of long term growth. That is the way to deal with the current deficit not slash and burn policies that cut back on public services. Britain needs a highly skilled workforce to be successful in the global economy but is already falling behind many other countries in terms of university participation.
Greater investment in higher education is needed but rather than students and their families being burdened with further costs this should be funded progressively as part of the government’s overall economic priorities.
I support the Free Education Campaign’s calls that rather than wasting billions of pounds developing a new generation of nuclear weapons to replace Trident, introducing ID cards or sustaining a level of military spending well beyond Britain’s means, the government could invest funds in Higher Education. And as business is a key beneficiary from a highly skilled workforce, it should also make a fair contribution".
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how you can get involved with the Free Education Campaign or to add your name to the launch statement.
To join the debate about how we can end student debt and to read the Free Education Campaign launch statement please visit: www.freeeducationcampaign.blogspot.com
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
We totally oppose the government’s recent suggestion to increase tuition fees to £7,000 a year. Such a move would have disastrous consequences.
Current tuition fee levels already deter those from less well off backgrounds from Higher Education. Any increase would make this situation even worse.
This failure is a direct result of government funding polices that leave students with record debt levels, which deter many from entering Higher Education.
The government’s claim that this policy of shifting more and more of the costs onto individual students and their families was necessary to dramatically increase the proportion of young people in Higher Education is now completely exposed by the government's decision to freeze student numbers and, at the same time, consider increasing fees.
In reality, the whole of our society benefits from a more skilled work-force. Higher education should, therefore, be funded as part of the government’s overall economic priorities, rather than making students and their families bear the burden.
To suggest that
We, therefore, propose a united campaign of all students against any increase in tuition fees, in an alliance with the education unions and progressive opinion in wider society.
At the same time we will continue to argue for the abolition of fees and for a new free education funding system.
We reject proposals from some NUS leaders of replacing the current tuition fees system with a graduate tax, of up to 2.5%, payable for 20 years – which just replaces one form of debt with an even greater one. This strategy has failed to defend students and has contributed to a climate where ministers feel able to propose increasing fees to £7,000.
1. A united campaign by the whole of NUS including a national demonstration, regional and local action against any increase in tuition fees.
2. A free education campaign, calling for the abolition of fees and for a new government policy to continue to expand Higher Education funded by a progressive system of taxation in which those individuals and companies with the highest incomes contribute most.
3. To campaign for the government to change its spending priorities to increase Higher Education funding, to cut military spending, abandon ID cards and other programmes which contribute nothing to economic prosperity and social welfare.
The NUS National Executive should lead a national campaign against any increase in fees and reject all proposals to increase the financial burden on individual students.
Daf Adley, NUS LGBT Officer (
Bellavia Ribeiro-Addy, NUS Black Students’ Officer
Saima Yousaf, NUS International Students’ Officer
Naa-anyima Quaye, NUS National Executive Committee
Khaled AlMudallal, Secretary-Treasurer,
Ian Drummond – Student & Respect Party National Council
Junaid Ejaz, President,
Gabriel Hassan, General Secretary,
Jennifer Okojie, NUS Women’s Committee
Saima Parveen, Disabled Students’ Rep, NUS Black Students’ Committee
Anil Joshua Sachdeo, NUS Black Students’ Committee
Rebecca Sawbridge – NUS, Mature Students’ Committee