Nathan Bolton, president of Essex university student union, spoke to Socialist Worker about the national protest set for 21 November
Thousands of students marching in London, joined by lecturers, can start to cut through the government attacks on education. Students are under a huge amount of pressure.
Paying £9,000 a year tuition fees has made it much easier for the rhetoric of marketisation to take hold. Everything is about employability and students as consumers.
Students are scared, but on the flipside of that they are angry and want to fight back. It’s great to hear people in the National Union of Students talking about education as a public good and how it should be free.
This gives us on the left a bigger platform to take that further and say the market shouldn’t exist in education at all. The government’s weak and has made many U-turns. But we’re sick of U-turns. We want to bring down the government.
Government claims that the average graduate earns £29,000 within six months are misleading. They only surveyed people working at City firms.
Some 41 percent of graduates have worked unpaid. Some 40 percent are working in non-graduate jobs. And 10 percent faced ‘periods of unemployment’.
The 21 November demo is called by the National Union of Students. Assemble 11am, Temple Place, London WC1R. Rally 2pm, Kennington Park. Go to www.demo2012.org.uk