By Monty Shield
Student-led organizations; a fight to end a rise in tuition fees amid government debt; protests; government opposition… surely this is a situation that sounds very familiar to the average UK student, who could now leave university with around a reported £53,000 worth of debt?
By Timur Dautov, UCLU Marxists President
As autumn elections in UCLU are underway, UCL students are due to give their mandate to 6 delegates who will represent them at the NUS National Conference in April 2014. The levels of participation are strikingly low – 6 vacancies are contested by only 8 candidates, and students generally are unaware that there are any elections taking place. Thus, it is crucial to address the importance of these elections, as well as the role of the NUS generally, and how Marxist students should approach it.
By Sian Creely, UCLU Marxists
The upcoming elections for UCLU’s NUS (National Union of Students) delegates have slipped under the radar of many, if not most, students. A passing glance at the Union website reveals nothing but a repeated invitation to join the gym at a discounted price. ‘But hurry,’ it implores against a backdrop of biceps, ‘don’t miss this opportunity to resign yourself to the lack of municipal sports facilities by paying an inordinate sum for the privilege of exercise!’. Voting for a whole host of Union positions from Faculty Representatives to Student Trustees, on the other hand, starts in a week but unless you’d caught the two second window where this information is displayed on the home page, or fished the leaflet out of your information pack, you’d be none the wiser. This, a cynic might say, is emblematic of the Union at present- more focused on its profit making activities than democracy, transparency and activism.
By Guy Howie, UCLU Marxists
Students coming to London this year face an unprecedented attack on their education. Ever since the Tories and Liberals trebled fees to £9,000 in 2010, we have seen university funding continually rolled back and the costs of student living soar.
For London students in 2013 the cut-backs have reached a critical point. At UCL, the “Bloomsbury Masterplan” – a £500 million sell-off of many of the university’s assets – has been announced. This includes the closure of the university’s medical centre, Gower Place Practice, at the end of this academic year to make way for research funded by big business.