Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Support students right to a free education for all

Tommorrow students from up and down the land will be protesting against teh attacks on their opportunities of a decent life for themselves and others who will follow them. This is also a fight for free education to international students too who have also been put off in coming heer to study we cannot forget them too. Free education should be a right in this day and age why should young people today have to pay when many of their parents and the smug politicians never had to pay a penny. Many students and young people are joining a London demonstration calling on the government to scrap tuition fees and cuts. Paired with the introduction of £9,000 university tuition fees for 2012’s student intake, the slashing of benefits and key services for students and young people is having a devastating impact, the organisers say. Scrapping of the education maintenance allowance (EMA) The EMA was a weekly means-tested payment of up to £30 for students aged 16-19, at schools or in further education colleges, in return for their attending lessons. It provided a lifeline to students . Around 45% of students qualified for the EMA, costing over £560m. But in late 2010, the government scrapped it in England. It still exists in Scotland and Wales. The budget was slashed to just £180m and reallocated to a 16-19 “bursary fund”. Unlike the EMA, which was distributed according to parental income, the new fund can be distributed by schools and colleges as they see fit. Pupils can apply even if they weren’t eligible for the EMA, so it’s unclear how many students qualify. Some of today’s sixth formers don’t know the EMA ever existed, but those with older siblings have found the injustice hard to swallow. “It seems as if the government is trying to make higher education less accessible to those from lower income families. University now feels like something more related to social class rather than to education.” Youth services have been slashed, with councils closing youth clubs up and down the country. Connexions – which provided information, support and advice to 13- to 25-year-olds – has been almost completely cut and replaced by the National Careers Service with disastrous results, particularly for the most vulnerable. Aimhigher – a programme that aimed to widen higher education participation – was also scrapped in 2011, just before the fees increase. “Where you come from remains such a key factor in whether or not you go on to university,” says Megan Dunn, NUS vice-president for higher education. “Young people from the most advantaged neighbourhoods in England are three times more likely to enter higher education than those from the most disadvantaged.” The government planned to “modernise” the DSA, which students in England can receive to meet the extra study costs arising from their disabilities, long-term mental and physical health conditions, and learning difficulties. Some changes have been postponed for at least two years after protests from students. But from 2015, many of the provisions the DSA currently pays for, such as standard computers for disabled students, will no longer be covered. Since 2010, the Department for Education has protected funding for educational provision for five-16s, but has slashed funding for 16-18 education. Some sixth form colleges will have lost a third of their funding by the end of this parliament, according to the Sixth Form College Association (SFCA), because of a combination of cuts to entitlement funding, which provides tutorials and enrichment activities, a new 16-19 funding formula, and a reduction in funding for 18 year olds. This has meant increased class sizes and a reduction in the number of A-level and vocational courses available at many schools and FE colleges. A survey of sixth form colleges by the SFCA found that 68% had dropped courses, with 38% cutting modern foreign language A-levels and 22% Stem subjects. with quotes and extracts from http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/nov/17/robbed-of-their-futures-how-austerity-cuts-hit-young-people-hardest?CMP=twt_gu In a National campaign against fees and cuts press release students wrote "This Wednesday, on November 19th, thousands of students will march through London in what is likely to be the biggest education protest in several years. The demo – which is organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts in coalition with a number of other student groups – will march on parliament under the banner of ‘FREE EDUCATION: no fees, no cuts, no debt’. The demonstration aims to be the spark for a new and proactive generation of student protests. There will be a press conference on the day of the demonstration. The press conference will include school students, activists from across the country and representatives of the different organisations behind the march. The press conference will take place at UCL (University College London) at 10am. Callum Cant, from Warwick for Free Education and the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts said: “At Warwick we have been campaigning on the ground for almost a month, and we’ve seen our hard work pay off. On campus, the mood is changing, people are excited, and we have seen a huge number of people getting involved in student activism for the first time.” Hattie Craig, from Defend Education Birmingham and the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts said: “The students attending this demonstration are a new generation: one that was not involved in 2010, one for whom £9,000 fees are the norm. Despite this, they’re daring to call for demands which envisage a radical reshaping of education. This demonstration, expected to be the biggest since 2010, is the start of big things for the student movement.” Kirsty Haigh, from NUS Scotland and the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts said: “NUS scotland firmly believes in free education and we are supporting the demo on November 19th. We believe education is a right that should be accessible to everyone and barriers such as fees are unjust. That is why I, and many other Scottish students, will be marching this Wednesday.” Deborah Hermanns, from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, said: “We will not win this with one march, but by creating a movement too big to ignore or to betray. So we have called for two further days of action on 3 and 6 December in campuses and communities across the country, and will keep fighting for as long as it takes to win.” Notes: 1. NCAFC is a democratic coalition of students and workers fighting for free education and against fees, cuts and privatisation in education. It has existed since 2010 and has around 500 members. " http://anticuts.com/2014/11/18/demonstration-to-be-start-of-big-things-as-students-prepare-for-an-autumn-of-protest/

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