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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 November 2021

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Photo: Mary Finch

Photo: Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Eve Jones, UAL Socialist Students

It is not surprising that our government would pass a motion for vast, brutal cuts to the arts and humanities courses in higher education, but it is deeply harmful and enraging nonetheless.

The Conservatives decreed that, as of June 2021, funding to arts and creative degrees - referred to as 'dead-end courses' by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson - would be cut by 50%. A move that not only affects students but university staff, field professionals, and the creative industry as a whole.

In addition to a withdrawal of funds, the Tories are also considering raising A-level entry requirements into arts courses, a decision more likely to affect students from poorer backgrounds, as well as students that struggle with the dogmatic standardised exam methods that mark the end of secondary education.

Finally, the Tories have also decided that the London weighting should be cut, leaving a number of arts universities in London with a loss of £64 million in an expensive and gentrified city.

These diverted finances will be funnelled into what the Tories consider to be more 'useful' subjects - STEM and medicine - where graduates generally earn higher wages and therefore guarantee a return on student loans.

Rather than combat this issue of student debt by raising wages in the arts industry or scrapping tuition fees altogether, the Conservative ethos continues to be punching downward - considering lowering the loan repayment threshold to £23,000 a year, for example.

Students, staff and creatives alike shouldn't have to put up with this. That's why we campaign for free accessible higher education, and it's why we will support university staff in the University and Colleges Union if they decide to strike, and university cleaners when their strike resumes on 12 November, as we did at the start of term.

A mobilised generation is a dangerous generation for those in established power, so we will continue to fight for a free and decent education for all.

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In The Socialist 3 November 2021:


COP26

Socialist change to end climate change

Fight for socialism to end climate destruction

COP26 begins - workers strike for pay

COP26 News in brief


Campaigns news

Why I joined the Socialist Party

Fund the fight for a socialist world

Sheffield students tirelessly campaigning for socialist change

Hackney children's centres: Campaigners see through council deception

East London gentrification plans exposed


News

Fight for a real wage rise for all

Local government cuts set to continue - we need councillors prepared to fight

Race to top for bankers

Fight for a 15-an-hour minimum wage and an end to youth rates

Water companies put profits before protecting our environment

Tories threaten arts students: we are prepared to fight back!

Tory Universal Credit crumbs no solution to cost of living crisis

Tory plans won't fix social care

Pay freeze lifted for civil servants - prepare now for the struggle for a decent rise


Workplace news

NEU: Strategy needed to bring members together to take national action

Oaks Park school strike spurred on by head's lies

Scunthorpe scaffs strike into fifth week

Unite leaflets supermarkets to build support for Weetabix fire and rehire strike

Plant engineers pay dispute


Fighting sexism

Sexism, safety and the profit system


International news

Sudan - mass protests and general strike against coup

Chile: International solidarity campaign to free political prisoners

Vaccine inequality - the ugly face of capitalism

Hunger strike in Calais for refugee rights

Protests against Sudan coup reach Britain


 

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