362 Views
4 Comments

Free Education Sussex

The campaign formerly known as ‘Anti-Privatisation’ or ‘Occupy Sussex’ will carry on its work under the name of ‘Free Education Sussex’ from now on. With the privatisations of estates and catering going through, a national movement for free education sprouting up everywhere and industrial action by unions on campus ‘Anti-Privatisation’ just didn’t seem to fit anymore.

We wholeheartedly value the history of the campaign and the hard work and dedication that was put in by many students and workers before most of us even started university. It is a privilege to step into the shoes of people who build a movement that still inspires activist groups across the country. One of our focuses this year will still be to build a relationship with workers on campus and to fight alongside them for better working conditions. Our ultimate goal will always be to bring the services back in house.

Unfortunately, there is reason to believe that the privatisations will not stop. The infamous university ‘masterplan’ that outlines the next ten year includes not only the demolition of Eastslope, Park Village and Brighthelm, and the expansion to 18,000 students by 2018 but also hints on further privatisation operations (residences, IT services, library, etc.). The fight against privatisation is therefore definitely not over!

While we are trying to free education from privatisation we also want to free it from tuition fees and debt. This will be a second focus of this year: to be part of the national struggle for free education. This doesn’t just mean the abolition of tuition fees for UK students, international students, undergraduates and postgraduates but also includes an expansion of rent grants and the removal of hidden costs. We understand that this is a big demand but that is what makes the movement so exciting. For the first time in years the student movement in England is not just reacting to policy changes; it is proactive, standing up for what it believes.

Our belief is that education should be thought of as a public good not a commodity. To fully comprehend this one needs to shake off everything politicians have made us believe for years: firstly, there is enough money to provide everyone who wants to with free higher education; money just needs to be spent more efficiently and rich people need to be taxed more. Secondly, a degree is not only there to tick a box on your CV; it is about shaping a responsible human being, it is providing unique experiences and permitting young people to think freely. Finally, with this change of mind, students would value a financially free education as least as much as they do now.

But Free Education doesn’t stop with financially freeing education! There are so many decade or century old believes and structures in the today’s education system that need to be questioned. This liberation of education includes liberation from racism, sexism and ableism. Out of 18,500 lecturers in the UK 85 are not white, only 10 of these are female. Even thought the female-male undergraduate ration is somewhere around 45%-55%, on average, only a fifth of professors are women. At some universities this gap is much bigger. There is also a very narrow perception of intelligence that put chains on students who don’t conform to it.

I once read a poem about education that went like this:

It’s in blasting chain links, in smashing metal lies the mandate of our education, and education everywhere.

Yet another of these chains around our education is the prohibition of dissent. We are not encouraged to think freely and wildly out of management’s and politicians’ fear of social change that will ultimately work against them. To break this particular chain is probably the most important action. For once we feel and know that we can change the world around us we will be encouraged to do so.

This is why activists across the country will be marching for Free Education in London on the 19th of November. We encourage everyone to join us. There will be a coach leaving from Brighton; tickets are available online for only £5 return. If you feel like you can’t afford this but want to come, contact us. Finances should never stop you from having a voice! If you want to organise actions on campus, come to one of our open meetings. Mondays at 6pm in Meeting Room 3 in Falmer house.

Free yourself, free education!

 

Laura Grossmann

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

4 Comments

  1. That’s great, more groups of students should waste their time campaigning for unreachable goals, it frees up university resources for the rest of us

    Reply
  2. I am sorry but I have to agree with the top comment. For me, this is couch idealism and simply impossible for the UK. University fees is one of the main sources of revenue for England. Scandinavia and Germany have free education because they also have equally high income taxes that allow the governments to support their universities. How can you expect England to offer your free education when it can hardly support its free healthcare?

    I don’t get it why the the English people are so pumped up about it, it is even worse for us international students who are forced to seek better education here in the UK because a) of colonial links and b) our own country cannot provide us with decent higher education.

    I only hope that this movement will not be as disrespectful as the Occupy one that used to disturb lectures and graduation ceremonies. I ask the Free Education Movement members that they choose to demonstrate peacefully and in harmony with the other students of this university who don’t want to partake and just want to go about their business.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
701 views1
Campus News
701 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
154 views
Arts
154 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
180 views
Arts
180 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
170 views
Arts
170 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
210 views
Arts
210 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
215 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
211 views
Arts
211 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
203 views
Arts
203 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
322 views
Campus News
322 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
161 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
432 views
Arts
432 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
199 views
Arts
199 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
300 views
Artist Focus
300 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
205 views
Interview
205 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
284 views
Arts
284 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
321 views
Arts
321 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
361 views
Arts
361 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
261 views
Artist Focus
261 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
271 views
Books
271 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
350 views
Science
350 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
331 views
News
331 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…