Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2022

NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Socialist Students campaigning for free education. Photo: Isai Priya

Socialist Students campaigning for free education. Photo: Isai Priya   (Click to enlarge)

Theo Sharieff, Socialist Students national organiser

The National Union of Students (NUS) has launched its campaign for a 'student strike for education', calling for a national student demonstration in London on 2 March.

Students need a fightback! Two years of Covid have laid bare the effects of Tory and Labour government marketisation of universities.

In September 2020, students were lied to about in-person teaching, and then locked down on campuses, just so university management could keep our rent and tuition fee payments. This came on top of years of cuts to jobs, wages and conditions, and courses on campus, meaning a slow decline of the quality of education students receive, while paying £9,250-a-year fees.

Last year, student rent strikes across the country succeeded in winning millions of pounds in rent refunds. Far from just being a fight for compensation for the disruption caused by Covid, for many students the rent strikes were a first step towards fighting against marketisation, cuts, fees and student debt.


When the rent strike movement was in full swing, Socialist Students organised campus protests to demand tuition fee and rent refunds for students, funded by the government, as the first step towards the complete scrapping of tuition fees.

The University and College Union (UCU) took three days of strike action last term over attacks to staff pay and pensions, and is continuing with action short of strike this term, with more possible strikes to come. Students have been protesting against the failures of management to effectively tackle the pandemic of sexual harassment and assault on campuses.

All of these events combined have mounted pressure on the leaders of the National Union of Students (NUS) to act. The NUS is demanding, among other things, "higher and further education to be funded by governments - free at the point of use for students - with proper pay, pensions and conditions for staff across education and beyond".

Albeit a whole year after the campus rent strike movement developed, that the NUS has finally called for a national demonstration to stop these attacks is welcome. Given the depth of the crisis facing students, 2 March could find a significant response from students looking to fight for free education.

However, guaranteeing the best possible turnout for such a demonstration will take a fighting campaign on the ground, linking the day-to-day attacks on students and staff to the need for free education. Student unions should mobilise students, including funding and organising transport to the protest in London for students and staff.

This demonstration has been called while rumours are swirling that the government is considering lowering the student debt repayment threshold, threatening to trap working-class students in particular in a lifetime of debt repayments. This is a prime opportunity for the NUS to put forward the cancellation of student debt, the replacement of loans with grants we can actually live on, and the scrapping of tuition fees, all funded by taking the wealth out of the hands of the super-rich.

Socialist Students is organising local campus protests as part of the campaign to mobilise students for 2 March, and will be demanding that student unions organise coaches to London. 2 March could be a significant step in building the fightback against marketisation of universities and for free education.

Donate to the Socialist Party

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 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.
  • 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.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 19 January 2022:

What we think

Tories on the ropes


Want to fight austerity?

No trust in Tories to keep us safe

Tories hand cash to private health profiteers

Tory vaccine sacking threat set to deepen NHS staffing crisis

Employers use vaccine excuse to attack sick pay

News in brief

International news

Murder of Ashling Murphy sends shocks waves across Ireland and beyond

Northern Ireland: Workers fight threatened closure of women's hostel

US: Independent Socialist Group launches new paper

Eyewitness account of workers' uprising in Almaty, Kazakhstan

Public services

Mutual aid, the welfare state and the fight for a new mass workers' party

Marxist classics

Why are things the way they are?

Rob Windsor

Rob Windsor - remembering a tireless fighter for socialism


Theatre: Yes Yes UCS

Workplace news

Sheffield Just Eat couriers speak about strike

S Yorks Stagecoach strike results in "huge pay win"

Scunthorpe scaffs resume indefinite strike action

Coventry bin strike continues

Bus driver Tracey Scholes reinstated at Go North West

Royal Mail: Unofficial walkouts precede bigger battle to come on pay and workload

Newham college strike solid against bully privatisers

Somers Forge workers continue pay strike

Workplace news in brief


NUS walkout: Organise to fight for free education on 2 March

Demonstrating against the Tory anti-protest bill

Waltham Forest: Campaign unites families facing eviction

Newham council rejects using 0.03% of reserves to fund arts

Birmingham: Cuts consultations replaced by computer game

Southampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce

Oliver Campbell - 31 years fighting for justice

Bournemouth - angry people not represented by capitalist parties

Pauline Wall memorial meeting


Home   |   The Socialist 19 January 2022   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleFighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout

triangleCampaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen

triangleWhy I'm going to Socialist Students conference

trianglePerfect storm brewing in education


triangleKing's student union refuses to back staff strike and NUS walkout

triangleThis is students' chance to fight back - help build 2 March NUS walkout

triangleNUS national student walkout and London demo

triangleHow students can fight and win


triangleTories instruct teachers to wipe Britain's real history

triangle"If we don't fight, we won't win!"

triangleNEU strike at girls' school chain over pensions


triangle'I'm dreading trying to live on a nurse's salary'

triangleSouthampton uni ignores staff and students in exam farce


triangleLots of sign-ups at freshers

Socialist Students:

triangleGetting organised for 2 March walkout


triangleTory NHS funding won't fix staff shortage

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Restore Cardiff's slashed services



Just Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut



University workers continue strike against bosses' attacks



Tube workers strike in defence of pay, pensions and conditions



Workers and students unite and fight



Fighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout



Brighton Green and Labour cuts - workers and communities fight back



Surrey: Unions and campaigns say stand as an anti-cuts candidate



Newham City Farm - closed with no consultation



London Socialist Party women's meeting



1 March: Socialist Party new website launch



Coventry bin strikers lobby strike-breaking Labour council



Scunny scaffs action forces bosses to the table



Usdaw: 'Reinstate Max' week of action



Trade union support for standing anti-cuts election candidates

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: [email protected]

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 077 7221 5281

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 078 0983 9793



Alphabetical listing

August 2022

July 2022

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022