Back to news

Thousands of students, lecturers and college workers Unite for Education

Monday 21 November 2016 NUS News

On Saturday 19 November, thousands of students, college workers and lecturers marched in solidarity through central London to demand free, quality further and higher education, accessible to all. Here are some of the highlights from the day...

Our United for Education demonstration hosted alongside the Universities and College Union (UCU) – saw communities of students, academics and parents come together in the wake of the biggest attacks to the education sector in modern times.

Lining the streets from Park Lane to Westminster with purple placards in hand, it’s estimated that this weekend's march was the largest education demonstration in years.

Approximately 60 coaches brought students from actoss the UK to the demo - with a special mention going to Orkney College, who’s students set off at 4am the previous day from the Northern tip of Scotland and travelled over 700 miles to take part.

The march concluded with a rally at Millbank featuring rousing speeches from Sally Hunt (General Secretary, UCU), Jeremy Corbyn (Leader, Labour Party), Frances O’Grady (General Secretary, Trades Union Congress), Owen Jones, (journalist and author), Amelia Womack (Deputy Leader, The Green Party), students from NUS’ International Students’ Campaign and not least Darletta Scruggs, a Chicago-based activist from the Black Lives Matter movement.  

NUS’ National President Malia Bouattia, Vice President (Further Education) Shakira Martin, Vice President (Higher Education ) Sorana Vieru and Vonnie Sandlan, NUS Scotland President, also addressed the crowd assembled at Millbank.

“The national demonstration was a fantastic show of unity from across our movement. Students and staff, academic and non academic workers, from HE and FE came out and made their voices heard. Our message was loud and clear: we reject the government's Higher Education and Research bill, we reject it's cuts and mergers of our colleges and, above all, we reject the selling off of our education to the highest bidder. The demonstration was just a start. The work now needs to continue in each institution to put pressure on MPs and managers up and down the country to reject the reforms and to change course. We will continue to fight for a free, accessible and liberated education for all.” Malia Bouattia
“#Nov19 saw thousands of college students from across the UK unite for education, together with university students and lecturers, to tell the government that enough is enough. Our colleges have been cut to the core and faced sustained – and continuing - threats and changes over the last few years. This demo was one way to make our voices heard, but the work doesn’t stop here. I’ll continue to fight and deliver on my FE Unplugged Manifesto to ensure this government puts its money where its mouth is and gives our Further Education colleges the investment we deserve.” – Shakira Martin
 “I hope students and SUs have felt inspired and motivated by the amount of people who share our vision for a free and liberated higher education and know there are many of us who are ready to take action to protect our education from an onslaught of attacks. I hope people go back to their campuses and ramp up the local organising - together and through our collective strength we can defeat plans that will deface HE as we know it and push for our vision.” – Sorana Vieru

#Nov19 in the press

Students and lecturers march against Tories' education bill

Theresa May told to 'stop using EU staff as pawns in Brexit', as thousands gather in protest

Student march: Thousands protest education cuts in central London
Evening Standard

NUS National Demo: Everything You Need To Know About The United For Education Rally
Huffington Post

We’re Marching To Fight For Our Education System Under Assault From The Tories
Huffington Post

Theresa May told to 'stop using EU staff as pawns in Brexit', as thousands gather in protest

Student debt: what all parents need to know

UK students protest planned university reforms
Al Jazeera

London march takes place over higher education
Times Higher Education

15,000 students march in London to protest education cuts

Education is a right: Thousands of students protest in Central London

Highlights from social media