It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?
So with Christmas just around the corner, it’s a time of giving, and the government have really spoilt us this year and given us a little present in the form of more debt! They are so kind, student debt is the gift that keeps on giving, and boy do they keep giving it to us. Scrooge and his motley crew dropped the spending review last week and with that all our fears became reality. In fairness to Dave, he wanted to get the spending review out of the way early so he could sit back and enjoy his PIGS in blanket over the festive period. We all know he loves a bit of pork.
George Osbourne kindly revealed the government’s intention to scrap maintenance grants for full-time Higher Education students in England and replace them with a loans-based system, just what we needed – a move which basically ends ALL non-repayable state support offered to hundreds of thousands of students from lower income households every year, lumbering poorer students with even more debt should they aspire to study. The good news is HE now mirrors society, right? - “hey you’re poor, here is some more debt”. So much for widening participation!
So I suppose in classic Huddersfield fashion your main concern when reading this, is how will it affect me? Well to put into context this will affect more than 50% of students in Huddersfield alone. Meaning more than 11,000 of you guys will be paying back the healthy sum of £53,000 for a standard 3 year course, how much FUN is that... 50k for a degree, a degree in which you don’t actually know what quality of teaching you are going to receive (Different rant I know, tune in next week for Mikes rant about the Teaching Excellence Framework). In perspective on a national level this will affect over half a million students and will be implemented from September 2016, how exciting?
I know personally I would not have entertained the idea of university if I knew it was going to cost me 50k, the spending review also slipped in the fact if you stated university post 2012 you will now pay back 6% of your annual salary; I told you the gift that keeps on giving.
As you may have picked up this is something that is really grinding my gears, we must take local and national action to secure a U-turn on maintenance grants. We have begun the local action securing support from local MP’s Barry Shearman and Paula Sherriff. We are sending hundreds of postcards to your local MP’s up and down the country but we need your help on the national lobbying.
On Tuesday 8 December students from across the UK will travel to London to meet their MPs in parliament and we want you to join us! Together we will demand politicians take action to #CutTheCosts student face and tackle the growing crisis of student debt. There will be a full briefing on the day in parliament to help you win the arguments with MPs, as well as a range of speakers.
If you want to join the fight against cuts hop on to the website for more details: http://www.huddersfield.su/events/cutthecosts-westminster-lobby--2
Together we can make change happen.