Since the slump in the UK movement, there have been many efforts to revive it. Now students are calling on their Vice Chancellors to strike against the government.

One such action can be found HERE

Organised by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts and the Education Activist Network

“University Vice Chancellors have just given themselves an average pay rise of 20%. Many earn more than the Prime Minister—without counting the perks and bonuses that would make an MP blush. Yet they are set to double or treble fees and implement deep cuts.

Last year students walked out in their thousands. Now we need to turn up the heat at the Universities UK spring members’ meeting.

We demand that Vice Chancellors

– pledge not to increase fees
– pledge not to implement cuts
– call upon the government to reverse its destructive education policies”

This aside, recently at least 3 universities have gone back into occupation; UWE, Hull and Glasgow. Hull are calling for students to re-occupy and for lecturers and management to strike and refuse to implement the cuts and fees.

On the 24th of February Vice Chancellors and university bosses from around the country will be gathering in London to carve out a plan to implement higher fees. Oxford and Cambridge have already decided to charge students £9000 a year, and it is likely that the big majority of institutions will do the same (seven out of ten, according to NUS). Even those that don’t charge the full rate will raise fees significantly. Most universities will make this decision in the next couple of months.
This marks a watershed in the history of Higher Education in this country. The student movement needs to use 24 February to begin the next chapter of the fight back against the cuts and against fees. The emergence of a powerful student movement last year shook the government; now we need to take our fight to the university bosses.

Our demands on university managements should be very simple: refuse to raise fees, and join students in a campaign to make the government back down.

Hull Uni occupation is putting out the call for a wave of occupations and demonstrations on 24 February to win these demands.

In Solidarity
The Occupiers

 

This message is from Alan Collinge, the founder of StudentLoanJustice.org, and one of the most knowledgeable student-loan experts in the nation.  He has been fighting for fair student loan policies for six years.

 

Generally, I am a big fan of facing reality as it is, not as one would prefer it to be. After witnessing the fifth attempt to downplay the fact that the government has been profiting on defaulted loans (which confirms that it is, and has been a predatory lending system), and after 6 years of working truly tirelessly, diligently, and with passion to solve this problem withing the existing legislative framework, I can now confidently declare that it is hopeless and futile to work for a just solution to this problem.

 

As such, the best advice I can give to you all, and the most patriotic action that you can possibly take in response to this problem, is to immediately cease paying your student loans, whether in default or not, and vow to never repay another dime.

 

I say this for two reasons.

 

1. The system is inherently predatory, inflationary, and harms you. The nation suffers generally in a dramatic, non-trivial way, and by paying into this system, you enable it, and ensure continued and increased predation yourself, your family, and most importantly, against future borrowers.

 

2. As of a few years ago (I am checking to confirm that this is still the case) there were provisions in the FFELP (federal) loan program whereby if defaults reached a very large percentage (I believe 60% was the cutoff), then the taxpayer is no longer obligated to repay anything to the lenders, and their investors.

 

Therefore, as an American citizen, clearly the obvious, most effective, and indeed most patriotic action that you and everyone can/should/must take, is to cut off funding for this monster now, immediately, whether you are in default or not.

 

This is not advice that I give lightly. After 6 years of working diligently to bring about a more fair, just, and equitable solution to this problem, I see plainly now that this is not possible.

 

I urge you all to spread this message far and wide. It would be optimal to spare “the taxpayers” the burden of being obligated to the banks, and I hope deeply that we can achieve this. If so. Great. But even if not, this is absolutely and without question the right thing to do, as an American…and let’s face it: The “taxpayer” wasn’t looking out for your interests when it allowed this predatory lending system to take root, so you should not feel guilty, obligated, or bad in any way regardless by suspending payment into it.

 

Beyond that, I have no advice except to say that anyone facing wage garnishment should explain the dynamics of the problem to their employer, and implore them to demand a court order before accommodating any wage garnishments. In all likelihood, this will be the last you hear from the collection companies.

 

The trip to Ohio is still on if you are willing to pay for it, although there will be some burning of some student loan documents involved, and I am considering an extended trip to Boston to have our own little “Tea Party”.

 

That is all that I have to say on the issue, except the following: As far as I am concerned, the student loan system no longer exists. It is as good as Deleted. Congratulations.

 

 

Alan

 

http://www.studentloanjustice.org/pac.htm

 

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