Coverage of the NUS student rally in central london against tuition fees and the governments plan for education.
Presented by Phoebe Kibbey
The current government has put the future of an entire generation at risk. Jobs are hard to come by, students are saddled with unprecedented levels of debt, it’s a struggle to get onto the property ladder, and state pensions are being phased out – it’s easy to feel despondent.
This demonstration is about three things:
Education is a good thing in and of itself - it enriches the lives of individuals and communities.
But for most, education serves a simple purpose: to create opportunity. The government has placed this under attack from all fronts - by scrapping the EMA, slashing undergraduate teaching funding, increasing tuition fees, introducing draconian restrictions on international students, cutting funding for post-graduate students, hiking fees for adult learners looking to gain basic skills, causing funding chaos in the nations…
Month after month, we've seen youth unemployment rise - it has now reached over 1 million in the UK – and it threatens to cause permanent scars to our economy and society.
We do not need degrading, exploitative and humiliating workfare schemes - we need fair work and fair pay; sustainable jobs are a necessary building block for a sustainable future and a just society.
Politicians have a lot to answer for. Many of them lied to our faces about how they would vote on tuition fees, and at the next general election we must do our best to make sure that those who claimed to represent us can’t betray us again.
Politicians have let education and employment slip off the agenda, but now we have an opportunity to create a movement that empowers us to take back our future. We need to work with our teachers, our families, our friends, our communities and other students to build formidable alliances for change. The student movement was built on the value of democracy, equality and collectivism - values whose time has come again.
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