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Taking action in higher education

Anti-education cuts demo's message to politicians

10 November 2010 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Thousands of students, lecturers and members of the general public will take to the streets today to protest against cuts to colleges and universities as part of a jointly organised National Union of Students (NUS) and University and College Union (UCU) national demonstration.

Fund our Future - Stop Education Cuts demo, 10 Nov 10 Tens of thousands attended the march Protestors will assemble at Horse Guards Avenue from 11.30 and the march will begin at 12.30 heading through central London and past the Houses of Parliament.
 
At a rally on Millbank outside the Tate Britain from 13.15 the protestors will hear from UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt, NUS president Aaron Porter and TUC deputy general secretary Frances O'Grady.
 
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, will tell the demonstrators: 'I am here today to send a message to the politicians at Westminster. It isn't fair to make our public universities the most expensive in the world. It isn't progressive to discourage young people from going to college. And it isn't just to ask the next generation to pay for others' mistakes. Over the next four years while college grants are cut and tuition fees triple, big business will get £8bn in tax giveaways from the government.
 
'Some in our government seem to think they can spin their way out of their election commitments. So far they've called the increase in the cost of university everything but what it is. They've called it a fee, a tax, a loan and now a contribution. But the simple truth is it's not any of those things. It's a debt. A civilised society recognises the importance of education. It's time for politicians to recognise that education is an investment in all our futures not a millstone around our necks.'
 
Aaron Porter will tell the crowd that: 'We have taken to the streets of London in unprecedented numbers today on the biggest student demonstration this century to tell politicians that enough is enough. We will not tolerate the previous generation passing on its debts to the next, nor will we pick up an eye-watering bill to access a college and university education that was funded for them.
 
'I will tell you today that we will not tolerate politicians' broken promises. We will not tolerate them pulling up the drawbridge on the next, denying our brothers and sisters the opportunity to study at college or university.
 
'This Government is abdicating its responsibility to fund the education and skills provision we desperately need just as every other country is investing in its future. We cannot and will not accept that miserable vision for our future. These short-sighted and self-defeating cuts to colleges and universities must be resisted, they will be resisted, and that resistance begins today.'
 
Frances O'Grady will say that: 'The education cuts are vicious and unnecessary and will see universities becoming no-go zones for young people from ordinary backgrounds. In the future it won't be A-level results that determine a teenager's decision to go to university but the size of their parents' bank balance.
 
'Cutting education maintenance allowances will also put college education way out of reach of young people from low-income families. We face an American-style free market in higher education where the top universities are reserved for the privileged few and everybody else has to make do with second best.
 
'We must keep on reminding those MPs who pledged not to raise fees of what a £9,000 annual tuition bill will do to university education, show the British people that there is an alternative to austerity, and persuade the government to think again.'
 
Photographs, videos and other live information will be uploaded to  www.demo2010.org throughout the day:

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