All Articles by Michael Chessum:
Michael Chessum writes on the importance of viewing student activism through its historical context
Some say that student politics are a joke. They are mostly right. It is often a place where people with few friends and even fewer ideas compete to see who has …
Our society is exponentially richer than it was in the 1970s, when education was free and student grants still properly existed, and yet students have fewer and fewer rights. The average student debt is now £26,000 – much higher on some courses – and many are forced to work part-time jobs on low wages in order to make ends meet. Now, successive governments are seeking to push a wave of cuts onto universities, leaving the education that we enjoy permanently damaged, our lecturers redundant, and our welfare and extracurricular services downsized. At the same time the Browne Review, due to report in just a few weeks, is likely to recommend that we pay significantly more fees. For international and postgraduate students, whose fees are already marketised, the picture is even bleaker. The UK now spends a smaller proportion of its GDP on higher education than does Slovakia. It’s about time we stopped putting up with this.