The National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU) have confirmed that a mass student demonstration will take place in central London this November to demand an end to “the marketisation of university and college education”.
With coordinated education demonstrations due to take place in numerous countries around the world, the protest will not only call for more accessible higher education but also for international solidarity and opposition to racism and xenophobia, following the recent Brexit vote.
Today’s (28 July) announcement arrives after the second reading of Higher Education and Research Bill in parliament on 19 July, during which MPS voted to move forward with the bill, which would allow universities to increase their tuition fees beyond the £9,000 per year cap established in 2012. This controversial move would enable for-profit education providers to operate with ease in the UK.
Malia Bouattia, NUS National President, has said that “students are clear that enough is enough, and will be marching for a positive alternative, ‘United For Education’”. This demonstration is due to occur just one year on from a similar march that took place in light of the government’s decision last year to axe maintenance grants.
But the question is, can the tens of thousands of students and staff expected to take part truly make a difference? Will MPs listen to us this time?
The ‘United for Education’ demonstration is due to take place on Saturday 19 November.