UCL’s Women’s officer Justine Canady describes why all UCL students should attend the National demo for free education taking place today
Today thousands of students from all over the UK will be marching on the streets of London demanding free education funded by taxing the rich. Higher education is at a critical point and now is the time for the student movement to act. The General Election saw a huge surge in young voters who were motivated by the Labour Party’s progressive manifesto that called for a free National Education Service and the restoration of maintenance grants. Labour won an unexpected surge in seats all over the country, some of which were previously safe seats for the Tories.
Now the conservative government is on the back foot. They have frozen tuition fees and said that they will look into the reinstating maintenance grants. This is the moment when we will can not only carry out Jeremy Corbyn’s goal to scrap tuition fees, but for us to usher in an entirely new vision for education. We are aiming to start that today on the demonstration.
We want to see an education system that is accessible to everyone. This means scraping fees for all students, including international students. Maintenance grants that are enough to live on for all students. An education system that is democratically run by the workers and students that truly make up the colleges and unis, not the overpaid mangers.
There is no shortage of wealth in our society to make this happen, it just sits in the wrong hands. Recent events like the Paradise Papers show that billions of pounds every year are hidden away to benefit the richest people. Progressive taxation, closing tax loopholes, and nationalizing the banks will be more than enough to fund our system of education.
Only we can make this happen. We need to push the Tories out of power and force Labour to push for our view of education. March with us today and go back to your campus to start campaigning for an education system that services all people, not profit.