Monday, 29 November 2010

Is £9000 a fair price for your education?

Not if you read this speculative costing of a year's teaching at UCL, one of the country's most élite universities. Goodall thinks that the current cost of providing teaching is £4500 p.a. I wonder what the figures would look like here…

Meanwhile, congratulations to the ongoing UCL Occupation (Facebook, Twitter), South Bank's victorious occupation, Manchester Met's effort (not sure if they're still going), Oxford's struggle (it was occupied before - it was the Royalist capital during the civil war: make amends, you lot), and all the other occupations, some of which are still going.

There's another action day tomorrow, and more on December 3rd. Hegemon students are getting organised, but the Students' Union (which is in the pocket of management) is proving to be a real roadblock. Here's their official and deeply pathetic statement:

In light of the recent student protests in London and around the country over the past few days the Students’ Union of University of Hegemon would like to make it clear that we do not condone or support any form of violent protest.
We do support the needs of our students who want to peacefully outline their opposition to the proposals presented by coalition government.  On November 10th 2010 we attended the National Demo in London taking 200 students and staff, where we peacefully demonstrated with over 50,000 students.  This we feel was a more proactive approach to highlighting the serious implications of H.E. funding cuts and the raising of the tuition fee cap. 
We feel that whilst our students are keen to take part in peaceful protest, these protests and marches have the potential of being hijacked by individuals and groups whose sole objective is to cause havoc and damage that is fuelled by violence.  These acts of violence and disorder detract away from the serious message and the real issues.  Such savage cuts to Higher Education funding will seriously disadvantage the majority of students.  
We do recognise the rights of students to attend the protest and will support those students who wish to do so.  The Union will not however be having an official presence on December 3rd, but will be considering an alternative campaigning strategy.

I have no idea what 'support' means in this context. As to 'potential' violence - well, any children's tea-party is fraught with 'potential' violence. So are my lectures. And my dinner. Martin Luther King would be so proud of their stand. Time for new elections?

But don't despair: an independent student organisation is taking up the baton. Join them.

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