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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 December 2007

Leicester: debate on tuition fees

LEICESTER UNIVERSITY students union held a panel debate on the subject of tuition fees, instigated by campaigns and involvement officer Alex Smith, who also runs the union's campaign to keep the top-up fees capped at 3,000 a year.

Vicky Cowell, Leicester University Socialist Students

Socialist Students national organiser Matt Dobson was invited to speak at the debate, alongside a professor of free-market economics, Gianni De Fraja, the NUS national secretary, Stephen Brown, and Leicester's vice-chancellor, Bob Burgess.

Stephen Brown said he believed in free education but we must be "realistic" and concentrate on keeping the cap. Far from voicing the concerns of students, who are increasingly forced into poverty, debt, high rents and insecure, low-paid jobs, he seemed more interested in not getting laughed at by politicians should he choose to lobby them.

The Socialist Students speaker was prominently publicised. This is because we are recognised as the most consistent fighters against fees both nationally and at Leicester University as, in contrast to the NUS leadership, we put forward a fighting position.

In front of 40 students Matt argued that education should and could be free, that grants should be provided for all students and that the NUS should actively campaign for the scrapping of all tuition fees.

If the government can bail out Northern Rock and can afford wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why can it not afford free education? The crux of the matter is not what the government can afford, but whose interests it represents.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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In The Socialist 13 December 2007:


Scotland

Defend Tommy Sheridan: End Murdoch's witch-hunt

Tommy Sheridan: End Murdoch's vendetta

Tommy Sheridan perjury charge


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Warning: NHS cuts seriously damage your health

Manchester: Karen Reissmann sacked - and cuts still loom


Post Office dispute

Fight to save post offices


What we think

Interest rate cut will bring no reprieve

Charity begins at the bank

Every fiddle helps

Government's lying statistics


Global Warming

Thousands march against climate change


Socialist Party news and analysis

Sefton's first citizen "cheating the system"

Unite Cardiff schools campaigns

Your new police terror chief


Socialist Students

National Union of Students: Right wing force through undemocratic changes

Leicester students debate tuition fees


International socialist news and analysis

Beijing Olympics under a cloud

China: Mass protests erupt in Shenyang

Extraordinary tape destruction at CIA torture camp


Workplace news and analysis

DWP strike: Fighting the pay cuts

Birmingham city council: Workers boo 'lead balloon' councillors

Action can beat Cadbury closure threat

Newham council sack Unison chair


 

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Related links:

Fees:

trianglePay full fees for virtual courses? - No way!

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: How can Corbyn's policies be implemented?

triangleStudents and workers unite against fees, low pay climate change

triangleTheresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students

triangleTop unis threaten cuts if tuition fees

Leicester:

triangleEnd the scandal of sweatshop labour

triangleTories put profit before lives

triangleEast London Socialist Party: Why do we need a revolutionary party?

triangleSchools... no going back until it's safe

Students:

triangleTV: The school that tried to end racism

triangleLondon Young Socialists & Socialist Students: We won't pay for the crisis with our futures

triangleCoronavirus: Students' charter

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