Wednesday, 3 November 2010

'We Won't Be Cut Out' of Higher Education

By Ben Aulakh

Students at one Midlands University have launched a campaign to fight proposals which could allow higher education providers to charge unlimited fees for courses.

Students at the University of Birmingham’s Guild have launched the ‘We Won’t Be Cut Out!’ campaign, to show that they will not be denied access to higher education.

A key element of the fight will see hundreds of Birmingham University undergraduates and postgraduates travelling to central London on December 10 for a National Demonstration.

An announcement made recently in the Comprehensive Spending Review revealed that the university teaching budget will be reduced significantly, leaving prospective students to fill the gap in funds through increased fees.

In addition to this a review into funding for higher education led by Lord Browne recommended that the current cap of £3, 290 per academic year be removed.

Dora Meredith, President of the University of Birmingham Guild said, “The severe cut in funding is a worrying prospect for us all.

“We are determined to make sure that the government sits up and takes notice. All of our students have a voice and we’re encouraging them to use it.”

The protest will see the National Union of Students and University and Colleges Union combine to fight the proposed changes to funding.

There is also concern among many involved with university education that courses will be closed, particularly in the areas of social sciences and arts.

This could have the knock on effect of reducing the quality of higher education being provided, as well as a decline in student support, all as a result of the funding cuts.

In addition to the march, students are being encouraged to sign the Guild of Students’ petition against cuts, lobby University’s and their MPs, and engage with the local community to make their voices heard.

Photograph from Cheryl Goddard Media, University of Birmingham.

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