Liverpool students protest “selling off” of student fees
“We’ve raised attention to the issue to students in Liverpool and we’ll continue to do so.” – protest organiser
On Wednesday 20th November, Liverpool students protested against the “sell off” of student fees as part of a national effort organised by the Student Assembly Against Austerity.
The Liverpool protest, organised jointly by Counterfire Liverpool and Liverpool Young Greens, saw over 100 students signing a petition against the sell off of the student loan book, and numerous students joining in to protest on University Square throughout the afternoon.
The move, announced in by the Government in June 2013, means that the student loan book is to be sold off to private companies. This is a further hit to students, who’ve already faced a hike in fees and the loss of EMA under the Coalition Government, especially when a secret report advertises to potential buyers that they can raise the interest rates retrospectively upon purchase.
Member of the organising team and Megan De Meo said, “We’re glad that the protest went ahead as part of the national efforts but we hope we’ve raised attention to the issue to students in Liverpool and we’ll continue to do so.”
Protest efforts recognised nationally
Liverpool’s efforts received national press attention with articles appearing in the Telegraph featuring quotes and pictures from the protest. Ross Campbell, who attended the protest also said “This campaign is proof that young people are engaged with politics, and not prepared to tolerate this government’s determination to destroy social mobility for an entire generation.”
The petition is to be sent to Liverpool Riverside MP Louise Ellman, who is yet to sign Early Day Motion 542, despite holding three universities within her constituency. Following this, the Student Assembly is organising a week of action in February, which Liverpool Young Greens have already committed to participating in.