When ex-oil baron Lord Browne released his review of higher education funding yesterday, it was met with demonstrations and defiance by students and lecturers’ unions alike.
Students occupied roads in London and demonstrated in Leeds over plans to burden students with tens of thousands of pounds of debt.
The figures are plain. The government wants to reduce the funding of university places by up to 90%. The consequences for higher education are devastating.
The government, along with their lieutenants in the Russell Group are enthusiastically posing this massacre as giving ‘choice’ back to students. The ‘choice’ whether or not to end up with £50k debt for a degree.
With the government set to slash all funding except to departments considered vital to their interests (Engineering, Health), the humanities will return to being the playground of the privileged few who have pockets deep enough to ‘make the choice’ to pay for university.
No-one who has been campaigning for the past year against the £35m cuts at Leeds Uni was surprised by VC Michael Arthur’s unseemly enthusiasm for the Browne recommendations live on Channel 4 last night.
The breaking up and marketisation of Higher education comes at the same time as the national roll-out of Academies for secondary and primary schools.
Students and staff know that this attack on education is just the first offensive in the bosses’ efforts to smash the welfare state, privatising it to pay for the £1 trillion bank bailouts.
Yesterday students across the country sent the message loud and clear to the millionaire coalition that we won’t take this lying down.
LUAC will be joining thousands of students in London on 10.11.10 for a demonstration with NUS and UCU to protest against attacks on jobs and education.
Read the Browne Review here
See anticuts.com for more details of yesterday’s events and to get involved in building a national resistance.