Commons committee threatens more fees

Submitted by on 24 July, 2002 - 12:54

By Amina Saddiq

So you thought it was tuition fees, loans and crippling debt which were keeping working-class people out of university?

Not according to the House of Commons Education and Skills Select Committee, which published a report last week. They argued that higher (that's right, higher) fees and higher rates of interest on student loans were the key to expanding access!
Despite the Labour Party's manifesto pledge not to introduce top-up fees, Higher Education Minister Margaret Hodge has said, predictably, that "all options" are under consideration.

Perhaps even more predictably, the Blairite-dominated National Union of Students has done nothing in response.

It was left to Campaign for Free Education members of the NUS National Executive to write to the press and call an emergency executive meeting to discuss the Select Committee's report; and it was CFE and Student Campaign Forum supporters who picketed Downing Street in protest on Tuesday 15 July.

At a day's notice, twenty five students rallied outside Downing Street, with placards proclaiming "Labour keeps the working class out of education", "Tax the rich" and "Free education for all".

We handed in a letter to Gordon Brown, outlining our political case.

The campaign of protest will be escalating over the summer and the start of next term, beginning with a protest at Margaret Hodge's constituency surgery in Barking, east London. on 26 July.

So don't let the Government get away with it - get involved in the fight for your education!

l To find out about the picket, contact the CFE e-mail cfe@fsmail.net or ring Faz on 07811 370627.

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