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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 February 2008

Universities in crisis

Fees favour the rich

Exeter Socialist Students organised a protest outside the office of the university vice-chancellor, photo Exeter Socialist Students

Exeter Socialist Students organised a protest outside the office of the university vice-chancellor, photo Exeter Socialist Students

SURPRISE, SURPRISE! A new study by the Sutton Trust charity shows that the university fees system favours the rich and those who attend private school.

Matt Dobson, Socialist Students national organiser

The government last week were hoping to be able to point to the 6.7% rise in university application figures in 2008, but the facts in this report are a damning indictment of New Labour's two-tier higher education system, where a debt-free, stress-free university experience is a privilege for the rich.

The rise in university applications is not proof that university is becoming more affordable. It remains to be seen whether a rise in applications will turn into a rise in admissions.

And, as the Sutton Trust study shows, these figures reflect the aspirations of many to learn and have the benefits of university but not the full reality of the financial difficulties involved.

Financial anxiety

One in four 18-24 year olds writes off going to university. The Sutton study reveals that nearly two-thirds of these young people cited financial anxiety as their reason for not applying.

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

Cardiff Socialist Students campaign, photo Dave Reid

University is supposed to be a chance for young people to expand their horizons in knowledge and learning and leave home to live in a new town or city.

The Sutton report shows that students from homes with an annual income below £35,000 were more likely to consider a local university. Some 72% of those who were planning to live at home did so because they wanted to minimise their debts.

Many students are saying enough is enough. The 21 February Campaign to Defeat Fees day of action will see students in universities and colleges across the country protesting against fees.

This shows a glimpse of what is possible if a mass campaign based on mass action was built, linking up workers and students to force the government to scrap fees and to fight for free, publicly funded, good quality education for all.

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In The Socialist 20 February 2008:

No wage cuts! Fund equal pay


Demonstration

Troops out of Iraq now!


Socialist Party news

Stop the witch-hunt: Defend the Sheridan 7

Prison officers fight Labour's strike ban

Battle for Shropshire schools goes on

Coventry protests at Widdecombe's attacks

Football: Top of the League for greed


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Northern Rock - Labour's reluctant nationalisation

1918-2008: Clause 4 and nine decades of workers' struggles

Record fall in home ownership


Socialist Party NHS campaign

London's health care under further attack

Private clinics fail

Hospitals "stacking" patients

Fighting back and building a demo

"Not making sufficient profit"


Socialist Students

Universities in crisis: Fees favour the rich

Exeter students fight privatisation

Nottingham defends democracy


International socialist news and analysis

Kosovan independence - a dangerous mirage?

Greece: Second general strike in two months

CWI school in Latin America


Socialist Party review

Science, Marxism and the big bang


Socialist Party workplace news

It's official - Unison launches witch-hunt on Socialist Party

Socialist gains in Unison branch elections

Collection cuts and bullying equals bin strike!

Victory for council street wardens


Workplace news in brief

Rail pension dispute

Union merger: OILC and RMT

Marching against single status

Solidarity with Pakistan workers


 

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Related links:

Fees:

triangleFighting fees and marketisation after 2 March student walkout

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

triangleLots of sign-ups at freshers

triangleSunak's student special

triangleScrap tuition fees - end university marketization

Rich:

triangleOxfam 'Inequality Kills' report

triangleWar in Yemen, made in Harlow, profit for rich

triangleSuper-rich get richer, while we can't make ends meet. Join the fightback!

triangleBlair knighted for services to the rich and powerful

Universities:

triangleUniversities: Strike action at 68 in two disputes

triangleUniversities strike - build the action and stand united to win

triangleSupport uni workers' walk-out on pay and pensions

Students:

triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleCampaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen

Socialist Students:

triangleWhy I'm going to Socialist Students conference

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