For centuries the Scottish education system has fiercely
maintained itself as an independent entity at all levels and has been seen by
many as superior to that of England and Wales. After devolution the Scottish
Parliament was granted responsibility for Scottish education and with this for administering
the associated fees and benefits. The Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition scrapped
tuition fees in favour of a one off graduate endowment payment, it was £2,289
when scrapped, and paid at the end of a course once a student was earning over
£15,000 per year.
The University College London Students’ Union (UCLU) voted to ban The Officer
Training Corps (OTC) from recruiting at union organized events like Freshers'
Fair. The ban has caused quite a stir on and off
campus, making the front cover of the ‘Evening Standard’ with the banner
headline, "Students Ban Military". Speaking
about those in opposition to the motion, UCLU General Secretary, Samantha
Godwin, said: “they know that if replicated
elsewhere, it would become a really effective method of protesting against the
On Thursday, 6th
March, supporters of Hands Off Venezuela at the University of East Anglia had an emergency resolution to the National Union of Students passed calling for
affiliation to the HOV campaign. This motion will be sent to
NUS conference on April 1st-3rd, opening the prospect of
the whole of the NUS (which comprises something like 4
million students) affiliating to HOV. This will give the campaign a massive
boost in the UK and in Venezuela.
The management at the University of Sussex in Brighton is attempting
to restructure the entire academic institution to make it fit for ‘the market’. The proposed ‘reforms’, which would change
the entire culture and tradition of the university, are part of a broader
process that is currently taking place in higher education in Britain and
around the world: the marketisation and privatization of education.
The privatisation of higher education has meant its complete distortion, as the nature of a university degree has become subordinate to profitability and the market. Academic schools are now 'business units', students are customers and the mark you get is open to manipulation for the sake of attracting potential new consumers. It is the 'commodification' of education.