Scrap Fees, fight the cuts!
QUB student, September 2009
While Queens vice-chancellor Peter Gregson lives on a salary of over £200,000 after receiving a wage increase of £24k, he still expect students to pay up to £10,000 for the right to an education. Gregson, who has claimed expenses on his membership of the prestigious London gentleman’s club, Athenaeum, has also introduced vicious cutbacks that will result in the loss of 150 academic staff and the closure of the German and Gender Studies departments.
Across all University of Ulster campuses there is a real danger crèche facilities could be facing either closure or instead be privatised. If privatisation goes ahead, this will lead to rip-off charges which most students cannot afford. Closure will result in removing the option of most young parents thinking of going to university.
But the university bosses and the government have no problem cutting more people out of education. This year the government only created 13,000 new places despite the fact that 60,000 more people applied for university than last year.
The Socialist Society has played a leading role in organising protests against the attacks on our education system and for the scrapping of tuition fees. The government will point to a £200 million blackhole in university funding claiming the money is not there. But the money is very clearly there when we look at the £140 billion in bailouts that the British government has given to bankers that have caused the present economic crisis. That’s enough to fill 7,000 such holes. Or what about the £73 billion wasted on Trident nuclear weapons? That’s enough to fill 3,000 such holes.
The Socialist Society at Queens and University of Ulster will continue to campaign for free education and students’ rights, but will also raise the need for a genuine socialist alternative to capitalist crisis. To get active with the Socialist Society on your campus, contact us at socialistsociety at hotmail.com