Free education; make the impossible possible!
I am standing for the position of NUS delegate to campaign for free education and an end to austerity. With coordination with other students' unions around the country we can seek to make a difference on our and other universities around the country. Together we can be strong.
I call for:
- Free education for all
Education should be a right, not a privilege. Other countries in Europe have completely free education, and yet for 17 years students have struggled with tuition fees. Since the price hike in 2012 debts have become potentially crippling for those on the minimal repayment income. We must stop any potential increases in tuition fees and work towards free education for all.
- Bring Back EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance – the grant paid to poorer students to help them through college)
It is not only tuition fees that discourage people from attending university, but also the often extortionate living costs. The Education Maintenance Allowance which allowed poorer students to attend university was replaced by the maintenance grant which has now also been removed. The Education Maintenance Allowance must be returned to allow students from all backgrounds to attend university.
- Campaign to cancel the students debts
Even if tuition fees were removed, many students would still be left with large debts. I propose that student debts be cancelled, to enable all people burdened with this debt to move on and make sure that previously uncollected debt be not unsuccessfully chased.
- Co-ordinated opposition to education cuts across campus and the country
Current cuts to public spending are pushing our services to the limit, with many being forced into privatisation, causing havoc across the country, with regards in particular to education and the NHS. We must take action against these cuts which affect us directly at Hertfordshire, this includes campaigning for the students' union to control student housing.
- No to zero-hour contracts and the exploitation of student workers
These contracts that only ever exploit students have to be stopped, student workers need a secure income that has minimal impact on their studies. Employers should care for workers' hours as much as their safety in the workplace.
- Support for workers’ taking strike action
This country is rife with inequalities, the many pay for the mistakes of the few and workers' unions are facing ever increasing restrictions on their ability to strike. We must support striking workers to ensure their rights are not infringed any further.
Together, we can fight austerity and make education a right, not a privilege; make the impossible possible!