I mean, what with the banking crisis and all the issues in the Eurozone, how is any government going to cover the cost of their nation’s learning?
Well actually, Germany seems to be doing it pretty well; they recently scrapped fees for both national and international students; it's not simple, but it’s not impossible after all.
Today's demonstration, inspired by successes in other countries, was organised by The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, The Young Greens, and The Students Assembly Against Austerity. NUS president, Toni Pearce, controversially pulled her support earlier this month, saying the march posed an “unacceptable level of risk” to members.
Beth Redmond, from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, explained why the march was necessary: “Education is a public good, it benefits everyone in society, and, therefore, I believe it should be paid for by those who are most able to. The state of your parent’s bank account should not hinder your access to education.”
Kirsty Haigh, NUS Scotland's Vice President Communities also commented: “We have come out because we firmly believe in free education; we believe it should be accessible to everyone at every level.
"We are lucky that in Scotland we have free education for undergraduate students, but we think that’s not good enough, we think it should be for all students, at every level, no matter if you’ve been through the system once or twice."
Personally, the atmosphere on the demo was – for the most part – fantastic; striding side by side with thousands of students, workers, and pensioners.
Placards jostled above heads, with statements such as ‘Free education, tax the rich’, ‘Books not bombs’, ‘Education is a right not a privilege’, and ‘This would never have happened at Hogwarts’ printed on them.
We chanted a variety of songs, such as ‘No ifs, no buts, no education cuts’, ‘Biology and English lit, did not cause the deficit’ and ‘What do we want? Free education! When do we want it? Now!’. You bet we want it now.
Ezra Schwalger-Jackson, from London Met, is paying just under £9,000 a year to study biomedical science. She told me at the march: “I can’t pay my rent and I can’t work because I’m studying full time – I’m stuck.
"I’m also here because of people like single mums and families from [disadvantaged backgrounds] who can’t afford education – there are so many intelligent people out there who simply cannot afford to be educated.”
Callum Cant, from the University of Warwick, brought over 200 students to the demo. He said: “I was the first year paying the new fees and I’m about to graduate with the full weight of £44,000 worth of debt. The enthusiasm among students for this cause is palpable.
“Students will come out in the streets if they think they can change something and today is about proving that they can. This isn’t just a demo; this is a movement which will grow from this point onwards.”
The march was going pretty peacefully until protesters tore down barriers at Parliament Square. Dancing and chanting broke out on the grass.
Even though the music created was amazing (I think someone actually fashioned a makeshift drum), it did mar the reputation of the protests; surely if we say we’re going to be peaceful, we should keep up our end of the deal?
As I left, watching as protesters began to huddle around a speaker on a platform, I asked Tom Hymas, a human sciences student at Oxford, how he thought the day went. He told me: “I think the march was a success; loads of people came down.
“I think we made the point we wanted to. Whether it will have any effect, we don’t know – but it’s a starting point from which we can take more action towards changing the government’s policy.”
Germany and Quebec successfully introduced free education after mass protests changed their governments’ attitudes. After the fees were tripled, we lost our faith and momentum. But, hopefully, today will be the start of students showing the people in Westminster we are willing to fight for what we believe in.
Eleanor Muffitt studied NCTJ journalism at Lambeth College
Essay about University Education Should Be Free
1628 Words7 Pages
Independent.Leadership.Equality. All of these are three characteristics as to what free university education can provide to citizens.Higher education should be free of charge for the citizens of the United States.In the US the average cost for colleges per year is $8,893. Many middle class and under class people cannot afford such costs. It is true that the government will give you grants but most of the time students never get funding from them (Emmons 3). Most people of today can hardly afford a car let alone the fees and tuition of college. Also, it could provide equality to all people. Allowing everyone an equal opportunity to go to college and make something of themselves. It provides a way for poorer families to break free from…show more content…
Instead, citizens should be paid to go to college because they are going there to better themselves as citizens of the United States. Making new experiences for each individual is important. No one will enjoy the experience if they have crushing debts to worry about. Education should be out there to inspire peoples mind and not just filling their head with others perspective. Every individual has the right to learn and be educated, and have the opportunity to view this world in a different perspective and do something on their own. But the cost of education is so unaffordable to some mankinds that it is just ferocious for them to even consider paying those education bills off” (“Should Higher Free Education Should Be Offered to All for Free?” 4). If students were not stressed out over the cost, they could then focus they’re stress on leaning and getting educated. A student should only have to worry about exceling him or herself to their best ability without worrying about the price they have to pay to get their education.
A public university is supposed to be meant for everybody but only those who can actually afford the price can actually go to it (Brady 4). Which therefore means that the government can’t call a university public if it not actually public (Brady 4). According to Brady Aaron,” When the roads that drive our economy and make modern life possible get too crowded or too congested, we expect the state to