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Students prepare to take to London's streets to fight for education in mass demonstration
Tens of thousands of students and lecturers will take to the streets today to protest against cuts to further and higher education for the 'Fund Our Future' national demonstration, jointly organised by NUS and the University and College Union (UCU).
Protesters will march against cuts to colleges and universities, Government proposals to triple undergraduate tuition fees to £9,000 and proposals to abolish the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the poorest students and to remove adult learning grant (ALG) for second-chance learners.
Protestors will assemble at Horse Guards Avenue from 11.30 and the march will begin at 12.30 heading through central London and past the Houses of Parliament. Find it on a map here.
A rally and speeches from Aaron Porter, NUS President; Sally Hunt, UCU General Secretary and Frances O'Grady, Deputy General Secretary will take place on Milbank outside the Tate Britain from 13.15. Find it on a map here.
The day will start with a press conference at 09:30 in the Upper Hall, Third Floor, University of London Union, Malet Street where NUS president, Aaron Porter, and UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, will be available to discuss the day's activities. Find it on a map here.
Aaron Porter, NUS President said:
"We are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers to tell politicians that enough is enough. We will not tolerate the previous generation passing on its debts to the next, nor will we pick up the bill to access a college and university education that was funded for them."
"This Government is abdicating its responsibility to fund the education and skills provision we desperately need just as every other country is investing in its future. We cannot and will not accept that miserable vision for our future."
"We will fight back against attempts to dismantle the funded education system we desperately need for economic recovery, social mobility and cultural enrichment. The Government's short-sighted and self-defeating cuts to colleges and universities must be resisted and that resistance begins now."
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said:
“The past few weeks have really brought home just how angry staff, students and the general public are with the government’s plans for education. They can see past the spin and they don’t accept the need for such punitive measures. Slashing taxes for big businesses whilst telling the public we’re all in this together exposes the government’s true agenda."
“We are taking to the streets to deliver a clear message to politicians that we want a fair and progressive system of education funding. There is nothing fair or progressive about tripling the cost of a degree and axing college grants that are often the difference between students being able to study or not.”