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26/01/11 – Manchester protests over education and job cuts

From UCU website 26 January 2011

Following on from November’s march that saw 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters protesting against higher tuition fees and cuts in teaching and support in universities and colleges, the National Union of Students (NUS) and UCU have joined forces with the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to move the focus from London to the north-west, where the cuts could hit hardest.

A march and rally called ‘A Future That Works: A National Rally for Young People’ will see the three organisations calling their members to Manchester on Saturday 29 January to highlight the impact the Conservative-led government’s cuts will have on young people, particularly those in the north-west.

The plans by the government to decimate welfare and hike the cost of education have seen the biggest wave of street protests since Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative party was in government and the organisers are asking those in the north-west to join them to show that anger at the government’s agenda extends well beyond London.

Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary, said: ‘This government seems intent on abolishing routes into education for all but the wealthiest. Last week’s scrapping of the education maintenance allowance, coupled with the huge rise in tuition fees, is going to deny thousands of young people the chance to better themselves. It is not fair that they are being forced to pay the price for a financial crisis they did not create.’

Aaron Porter, NUS President, said: ‘Last year we saw 50,000 students, lecturers and supporters on the streets of London in opposition to the coalition’s plans to treble tuition fees and slash teaching budgets. In abolishing the education maintenance allowance, raising tuition fees, axing AimHigher and scrapping the Future Jobs Fund, the coalition has disgracefully targeted young people out for the most severe cuts.’

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