Wednesday night saw the start of a student fight-back against proposed rises in tuition fees at Kingston University.
In a meeting at Penrhyn Road, organised by the Education Activist Network, who are co-ordinating the national campaign to oppose cuts in education, and led by NUS mobiliser Ben Bergfield, Kingston launched its campaign to fight any increase in university tuition fees.
The meeting quickly grew heated and there was was a call to demand an emergency AGM of the Kingston student union. The emergency meeting would outline Kingston’s plan of action to oppose the planned fee increases.
Raymie Kiernan of the Education Activist Network said; “This is a time when Student unions can come into their own. We’ve got to go all out to make sure that the AGM is a very, very open meeting where everyone can express their views”
A petition was drawn up on the spot and within 24 hours over one hundred signatures had been secured: forcing the union to accept the demand. The union have now announced the emergency meeting will be held on Wednesday 20th October in the Clattern lecture theatre and will be open to all students and staff at Kingston University.
Mr Bergfield rallied those at the meeting on Wednesday by condemning Lord Browne’s funding review, published last Monday. He said: “It’s the biggest ever onslaught to British education.
It will create a two-tier university system, with elite universities charging thousands of pounds and attracting world class recognition, and others will be more like community colleges.”
Mr Bergfield went on to rebutt claims that fee rises were inevitable and reminded the meeting of the power of student action. He said: “In 1974 the Heath government issued a private memo saying it was scared of two things: miners and students.
“By turning out for the national demonstration on the 10th November in central London, we can defeat this attack on our education system.”
The emergency meeting of the student’s union is open to all and will be held at 2pm in the clattern lecture theatre on Wednesday 20th October.
The National Demonstration of Students and Lecturers will be held in Central London on the 10th November.