Fees, debt and marketisation are increasingly turning education from a right for all into a privilege for the wealthy. The NCAFC opposes all proposed and existing fees, course cuts, staff redundancies or reductions in education spending. Cuts are compounding 30 years of neo-liberal reforms which are turning our universities and colleges into businesses organised to produce profit and a pliant workforce, not critically thinking people and a better society.
Education can and should be funded not by student fees and taxes on the poor, but by progressive taxation. It should be an emancipator right, free and available to all.
We will fight for:
- A halt to all education cuts, the abolition of all fees and a living grant for every student, in FE and HE. Tax the rich to fund education.
- Education not profit: business out of our schools, colleges and universities.
- A mass movement of students, including occupations, direct action and walk-outs from FE and 6th form colleges and schools, against fees and cuts. Solidarity with our lecturers, teachers and workers.
- Fees, cuts and marketisation are affecting all areas of education; schools, FE colleges, adult and part-time education institutions are being hit and must work together in the response. Regional meetings much be concerned with issues affecting all students in different types of education.
- This campaign also recognises that oppressed groups are being scapegoated due to the crisis, and that cuts will affect them the most. This campaign therefore commits itself to opposing all forms of racism including Islamophobia.
- We are committed to solidarity and co-operation with Liberation organisations that share these values (including, but not limited to, the autonomous NUS liberation campaigns, all of which have free education policy), and condemn all forms of discrimination. Black, Disabled, LGBT and women students are systematically disadvantaged and discriminated by society and are disproportionately affected by fees and cuts.
- We are an internationalist campaign. We are for solidarity with students and workers across the world in our common struggle against exploitation and oppression. We are opposed to the victimisation of students and education workers over immigration status, as well as all deportations and immigration controls. We are opposed to all imperialist wars, sanctions and occupations: UK troops out of Afghanistan now.
- We will compile a national education activists’ contact database for co-ordinating activites.
- We agree to initiate a national boycott of the National Student Survery (NSS) to oppose marketisation of education.
- To send representatives to the Bologna process counter-conference on March 11th.
- To support the call for a national demonstration outside the Autumn conference of whichever party wins the General Election.
- To support the teach-in at King’s College London on 27th February called by KCL UCU, No Cuts @ King’s and the London Education Activist Network.
- Where possible ‘cultural evenings’ will be put on in student unions nationwide with poetry, theatre, music exhibitions and other artictic forms, with guest speakers and performers invited, in opposition to fees and cuts.
- To convene a meeting dedicated to the discussion of a united left slate in the NUS elections. All groups, networks, student unions and individual activists should be able to attend and participate.
- To change our name to the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts.
- That a national convener be elected from each region (North, South, London, East Anglia) to convene a regular open national steering committee with the regional conveners. This national organising meeting be open to all education activists.