Friday, 13 November 2009

Gown To Takeover Town

Students from Reading University are stepping up their campaign against unfair funding and will launch a week of events designed to raise awareness of the issues surrounding tuition fees and student debt.

Adam Hewitt previews the events, which will start with a 'sculpture stunt' in the Oracle to visualise the mountain of debt being run up by students and culminate with a debate on the future of funding for Higher Education.

The debate will take place on Thursday at 7pm in the Palmer Building, with local MPs and political candidates facing off in front of what is expected to be a large audience. The meeting is free and open to members of the public.

RUSU President Sinead Brennan explained the campaign is designed to raise awareness of the future of education across society, as it is something which has an impact on everybody's lives.

She said "we want students, staff of the Union and the University, parents of the kids in local schools, anyone and everyone to come along" as this is the best way to "hold our politicians to account on matters close to our heart."

Campaigners have also set up a facebook group to keep people informed of new developments.

They are hoping to build support for Early Day Motion 1085, which calls for a wide-ranging inclusive debate on university and student finance issues.

Meanwhile Linda Fort interviews RU LibDem Society president Mark Whiley.

He points out that many students are already graduating with debts of over £20,000, despite having no guarantee that their qualification will help them get any job.

Since Labour came to power in 1997 the government has colluded with educational institutions to triple the fee cap, he says, and where the official Dearing report recommended students contribute 25% to their education many are now contributing as much as 80%!

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Update: RUSU Student Officers report back on the efforts to raise awareness by their educational activists.

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More stories on Reading University.

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