Students and staff organise against government’s cuts in higher education

By Jenny Kassner

We will march is the slogan of an unprecedented demonstration against the rise of fees in higher education that is due to take place in London on the 11 November 2010.

Students, academic staff and the general public will be marching through central London to demonstrate against cuts in education and a raise in tuition fees of universities.

The Lord Browne report, that was released in October proposed to lift the cap off tuition fees. At the same time, the government’s comprehensive spending review revealed that there would be severe cuts in education funding. This had caused wide spread disapproval amongst the British student body and academic staff.

“We must fight so that the government continues to fund education to current levels, and student support to higher levels”, stated Liam Burns, president of NUS president at the senate of the Napier Students’ Association last night. He had been invited by the association to come to speak at their first senate of the year to raise awareness of the severe consequences the Brown review is most likely to have on Scotland.

Across the country, universities’ student associations are organising free coaches for their students to have a chance to attend the demonstration in London on 11 November.  Online portals allow students to share and offer available seats on coaches.

The demonstration is organized by NUS and UCU (University and College Union). But with 7 million students and only about 125000 of academic staff a concern may be raised that the student voice will be much louder at the demonstration and staff issues might be silenced. However, the UCU press office has stated that student and staff were working together to preserve a fair system of higher education. “There is no battle between the two.”

The coalition will announce its response to the Lord Browne review today. They are expected to announce to put the cap of tuition fees in England on £9,000.