quarta-feira, novembro 10, 2010

Today: March for the future of education @ London

The government's education policy is regressive, punitive and unnecessary – join the march to protect our future.
Today will see tens of thousands of people concerned about the future of education marching from Horse Guards Avenue, past Westminster, to Millbank. Organised by the National Union of Students and the University and College Union under the banner "Fund our Future: Stop Education Cuts", the protest serves as an indication of the enormous anger generated by the government's proposals to cut funding, massively increase fees and force those not rich enough to pay for their courses up front (ie most people) and sign up for a life of debt – or avoid university altogether.

Many have pointed to the shortsightedness of cutting university provision at a time when the economy is stuttering. Across Europe, very few countries have opted to cut funding to universities, believing that the future of their economy depends, in part, on producing high-quality graduates. Britain is already spending less on the sector than many other countries (0.9% compared with Sweden's 1.6% and the US's 2.9%), but now the government is effectively proposing to transfer the entire responsibility for future funding of teaching to students and graduates.

Ministers who paid nothing for their university education, who received grants and full fees, are telling everyone else that they must sign up for decades of debt. It is very clear that those who start with least will be less inclined to borrow the most: furthermore, the introduction of differential fees (possibly up to £9,000) will create a divided sector in which those institutions that tend to attract richer students will charge as much as they can.

Students will be forced to make an economic calculation regarding the worth of their intellect: as arts, humanities and social sciences face a total withdrawal of government funding, these subjects are likely to disappear at post-92 universities, leaving classics, history, philosophy and art to those who can afford to "indulge" in such pursuits. Everyone else will have to choose something "useful", despite the fact that there are likely to be even fewer jobs for them due to the government's response to the economic crisis. Britain's appalling lack of social mobility and class division will only be reinforced by the proposed cuts.

The march is not simply about students protesting their own situation – in fact, most current students won't yet be affected by the proposals, although they, too, are already facing a future structured by debt. People will be marching for those who are not yet at university: those who will see their education maintenance allowance (EMA) cut as they attempt the A-levels they hope will get them into university in the first place; those who will be put off university altogether by the fear of debt; those who believe that higher education doesn't simply belong to the rich. The government's plans for universities are regressive, punitive and unnecessary. The protesters today will be making this very clear. British universities are institutions to be proud of, not punished. Join the protesters today, if you can.

5 comentários:

Protestos violentos em Londres disse...

Ambiente é tenso no centro de Londres. Milhares de estudantes saíram às ruas para protestar contra o aumento das propinas em Inglaterra.

Além do parlamento britânico, a sede do partido conservador foi ponto de paragem. Aqui inúmeros jovens atacaram as instalações.

As autoridades referem que o protesto nas ruas da capital britânica contou com pelo menos 20 mil jovens.

“Estamos a assistir a níveis de acção sem precedentes de estudantes e de funcionários pelo facto de terem sido atribuídos os maiores cortes às nossas escolas e universidades e ao mesmo que triplicam as propinas”, referiu um manifestante.

Actualmente, as despesas de inscrição dos estudantes não podem ultrapassar os 3.800 euros por ano.

O governo conservador de David Cameron quer autorizar as universidades a aumentar o limite para os sete mil euros e para os 10 mil em casos excepcionais.

Police response to Millbank riots 'embarrassing', says Met chief disse...

Sir Paul Stephenson, the Met Police Commissioner, has admitted that the police's response to the student tuition fees protest at Millbank Tower was "embarrassing".

Sir Paul said the force should have anticipated the level of violence "better", adding: "It's not acceptable. It's an embarrassment for London and for us."

Ten people were injured in the violence, including three police officers.

50,000 resisting privatisation of higher education in London disse...

About 50,000 people from across the UK came together for a demonstration in London today to protest government's plans to massively cut public spending and increase tuition fees up to three times the current level. Hundreds, if not thousands came from as far as Scotland.

The cuts are expected to hit the arts and humanities hardest, as funding for science, medicine and engineering is likely to be protected. In practice, this means universities which are able to charge the full £9,000 should raise enough money to provide a full spectrum of courses, but newer universities are likely to focus on vocational degrees where they can be sure of attracting students. The fear is that the arts, especially modern languages, become the preserve of the most privileged students.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of protesters took over the headquaters of the Conservative Party (Tory), the Millbank Tower. Workers inside the building were evacuated. A fire was lit in front of the building, eggs were thrown and windows were smashed.

A group occupied the roof top and released a statement warning that "this is only the beginning".

Well, how about uniting internationally on November 17th?

At least 14 people had to be taken to hospital. Protesters were kettled by police forces in front of the building. Many were handcuffed. A police spokesman said 32 people had been arrested for a range of offences, including criminal damage and trespass. Those arrested are being taken to a police stations across central London including Westminster and Fulham.

Parliament Square Occupied: Free University open disse...

Education Camp occupies Parliament Square and opens free university. If you're tired of shouting slogans and want to be part of the alternatives, come to Parliament Square.

As the dust settles on the chaos across central London, a new university has emerged: a free university in Parliament Square. The space was peacefully occupied by an autonomous group of students called Education Camp. Their intention is to hold the space for a period of time to facilitate free public lectures and open discussion about proactive alternatives for higher education. New students and professors are welcome.

Currently there is free movement of students on and off the campus. Already some professors are planning lectures for tomorrow. Help is needed tonight to hold the space through peaceful means. The university has asked people donate warm blankets and hot food to keep the resistance going, and for more students to participate in peacefully holding this space.

Decisions are being made by consensus and the group is non-hierarchical. The group is respectful of the space, intends to maintain it but also use it for a socially valuable activity - free higher education.

Actuação da polícia questionada depois da revolta estudantil em Londres disse...

A contestação estudantil em Londres fez 14 feridos, metade polícias.

32 pessoas foram detidas, depois de centenas de jovens tomarem de assalto a sede do partido conserv...ador, a Milibank Tower, na capital britânica. Os manifestantes protestavam contra o aumento das propinas, que podem triplicar a partir de 2012.

Ao longo de mais duas horas inúmeros jovens fizeram o que queriam das instalações da formação no Governo, apanhando as autoridades desprevenidas. Esta foi a primeira manifestação a sério desde que o governo do Torie David Cameron e do liberal democrata Nick Clegg aprovaram cortes no orçamento de estado no valor de 95 mil milhões de euros.

A polícia não estava preparada e no terreno a mobilização de 225 agentes foi insuficiente para conter as mais de 50 mil pessoas que participaram na marcha.