This Friday 18th October students at UAL and Goldsmiths will be demonstrating against the privatisation of student debt. Come along and join the UAL Marxists in calling for no privatisation of student debt, the cancellation of student debt, the abolition of fees and the nationalisation of the banks to fund education.
Since the introduction of fees and the cutting of grants, the influence of big business and the market on higher education has been steadily increasing. The capitalist crisis engulfing Britain and the world since 2007 demonstrates that the market is incapable of providing quality education and public services in general. Danny Alexander’s proposals on the privatisation of student loans and existing debt is further proof that nothing is safe from privatisation and profiteering, even debt from previous loans. This latest attack means £40 billion of debt composed of loans to students from 1998 to 2012 is to be privatised as part of the £11.5 billion additional cuts announced in the last spending review, and affects up to 3.6 million students and former students.
The privatisation of loans necessarily means an increase in interest rates to make them more profitable investments for financiers. Interest payments, which currently average £40,000 for students starting today, may more than double. Scandalously, under these plans the earnings threshold for commencement of repayments will likely be lowered from £21,000 to £18,000. NUS policy has failed to shift government on fees. A far more sustained, militant and political campaign that mobilises the millions of students and ex-students that stand to lose from this privatisation must be organised by the NUS. Ultimately capitalism and profit seeking are in direct contradiction with free education as a right for all. Only a democratic socialist system of public ownership can provide higher education for all.
Despite these attacks British business is sitting on an incredible £800bn accumulated profits that they refuse to productively invest.
The UAL Marxist Society and the Marxist Student Federation calls on the NUS to:
- Categorically condemn the further cuts to and privatisation of higher education.
- Clearly state that it opposes all fees, privatisation and the interests of big business in education generally.
- Spearhead its policy by making clear that the only political and economic solution to attacks on higher education and public services in general is the nationalisation of the banking system and big business in order to invest their vast resources into public services.
- Publicly campaign for this policy and to produce material such as leaflets explaining this policy in order to win students, staff and the wider public to this policy.
- Local student unions must organise mass meetings on the attack on higher education and the socialist alternative.
- Such mass meetings should be linked to ballots of student membership for a day of student and staff walkouts or strike action all over the country to fight cuts & privatisation.
- These walkouts and strikes must be linked to a national NUS led demonstration.
- The NUS must throw its resources into organising such a demonstration, and follow it up by publicly campaigning for these policies in the trade union movement, to which the NUS is affiliated.
- All local student unions should be encouraged to send delegates to trades councils and to win support in the wider labour movement for militant action against cuts.
Join us on the demonstration on Friday 18th October at 12:30. Goldsmiths students will be meeting on campus, while UAL students will be meeting at LCC.
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/475044772602567
See our leaflet for the demo here (click to enlarge):