United We Stand: Staff and students can work together

The student occupation at the University of Westminster is now in its 3rd day, and students will be protesting today at UCL and UEA too.  In this report Hannah Besford writes about how students have taken the initiative in Portsmouth:

Portsmouth University has begun a fight back against the cuts set to destroy higher education.  Meetings began in December to begin to create a staff-student voice against the cuts and increasing threat of elitism within education. Portsmouth currently faces 5% percent cuts across the board, with at least 4 courses set to close and up to 100 voluntary redundancies so far.

We fear this is just the beginning, and are trying to build a mass campaign, contacting staff, students and unions (UNISON and UCU).  By the 24th February this culminated in a 100-strong rally, with speakers from UCU, a lecturer from the cuts-affected Art department, a sabbatical officer of the Students Union, a speaker from a recent occupation at Sussex University, and a representative from TUSC, the left electoral alternative.

 This is a fight at the national level.  Successes at Tower Hamlets College and Leeds University have given confidence to staff and students here in Portsmouth, and there is a definite mood for action. We did a collection for Leeds UCU’s fighting fund at the rally, and intend to protest in solidarity with Sussex UCU when they (hopefully) take strike action later this month.


About educationactivistnetwork
The education activist network provides national coordination for trade unionists, academics, university workers and student campaigners fighting to defend jobs and education in the UK.

One Response to United We Stand: Staff and students can work together

  1. Norwich Resident says:

    Everyone with half a brain knows there are too many students in Norwich now. These cuts are a corrective measure, hardly the death of higher education as you make out.

    The expansion of the last decade has seen a large rise in anti-social problems in the Golden Triangle, and the UEA take no responsibilty for this, neither do the letting agents who are making a heathly packet renting out shoddy houses at inflated prices to the students.

    I also believe those people who actually want an education will still have the opportunity. But for the students who see it as an opporunity to party for 3 years without consideration of anyone else, well frankly, good riddance. I am sure many people in Norwich will celebrate their passing….

    I am fully supportive of higher education and studied at the UEA myself before you dismiss my comments.

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