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From The Socialist newspaper, 27 October 2000

Grants Not Fees

MANY FIRST-year students already feel the financial burden of being at university, 41% will be looking for jobs, predominately low paid and highly exploitative to keep their heads above water. Some are still waiting for their loans to come through, yet under pressure to pay fees.

Kieran Roberts, Save Free Education (SFE)

Over coming months, thousands of students will drop off their courses. Save Free Education (SFE) and the Socialist Party are stepping up their campaign so every student can stay on their course. We are building mass action to force the universities and the government to allow every non-payer and student who cannot afford to pay the fee to remain at university.

We believe, tuition fees can be defeated and the grant won through a campaign of mass non-payment of the fees. If the thousands who cannot afford to pay their fees, unite with the many who oppose fees on principle, they can be made unworkable.

SFE members around the country are building this strategy and attempting to involve as many students as possible in the campaign.

We are particularly building for the national 'Grants not Fees' demonstration called by the National Union of Students (NUS) on 15 November.

Scandalously, the NUS's New Labour leadership has consistently refused to build a mass movement against fees for fear of moving against their friends in government. They attack the strategy of mass non-payment, the strategy that is best capable of defeating fees and winning the grant. However student pressure from below has forced them to organise a demonstration explicitly against fees and for the grant (which they are opposed to introducing).

SFE and the Socialist Party want this demonstration to be even bigger than last year's when 20,000 students marched through Central London. A massive show of strength by students would show Tony Blair that students are ready to stand up to New Labour's policies and fight against fees and for a grant. It would also give thousands of students the confidence to take a stand and refuse to pay their fees.

Join us, to make sure the demonstration is a huge success and that the message of non-payment gets through on the day.

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Finance appeal

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.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our Fighting Fund.

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In The Socialist 27 October 2000:

Hands Off Our Services

Grants Not Fees

Palestinian Uprising Intensifies

Socialism 2000: An Inspiring Weekend

Profit puts safety last

Trotsky's Political Legacy


 

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Related links:

Fees:

triangleUniversity funding reform: Fight for free, fully funded education for all

triangleSocialist Students day of action

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

triangleFees frozen at 9,250 a year, fight for free education

triangleScrap fees, refund rents and pay a living grant

Grants:

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

triangleMobilise against rip-off executive pay

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Students:

triangleYork students demand democratic control of schools

trianglePimlico Academy protest demands elected governors

triangleStudents and unions must resist misnamed 'free speech' bill

Pay:

triangleSparks win victory!

triangleJohnson's G7 hypocrisy

Grant:

triangleThem&Us

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