So. Many. Things.
I know I last blogged on Monday. Soz that I’m doing it again, but Tuesday and Wednesday have been so big I just have to update you guys on all of the things.
I say all of the things, really, it’s two main thing. NUS Local, and the spending review. As NUS Local was an entirely happy event, I’ll talk about that first.
1. NUS Local #SUlocal15
Your sabbatical team headed down to the Liverpool Guild on Tuesday for a day-long event with NUS, all about collaborating with local Unions, talking about issues that affect our region, and networking with local sabbs.
Which is literally the most socializing I’ve done in a long time.
But seriously it was an awesome event. I got to see some great people that I don’t get to see very often, and I met some new awesome people that I’m really looking to working with! Yay collaborative action!
We also passed on Dave, our dear visitor from NUS who you may have met if you were about the Hub on Monday.
Dave is the #CutTheCosts pig, who has been doing a tour of Students’ Unions. Which is exciting! (He also now has his own Twitter, you can see that here.)
We also played a really fun rhyming game to remember people’s name.
At NUS local we had:
and Rockin’ Rosie.
Some of the guild sabbs didn’t play. They were doing other things. Boo. Richard Brooks was also there but he was too busy doing NUS Vice Presidential things to network with us. Boo.
But basically I had an amazing time sharing best practice and getting to know our neighbours in Liverpool (and Sabb Social is totally happening.)
2. The Spending Review
And this blog was so upbeat, until now.
I could rant on, and on, and on about how much the government is dicking over students right now.
Between the announcements made in the Higher Education Green Paper, and now those made in the spending review, ugh. Bad things. Terrible, terrible things.
So, instead of ranting and rambling on, I’m going to bullet point the major things from the spending review that will affect students:
- NHS Funding for nursing students is being cut. Which will mean student nurses will have to take out up to £40’000 loans in order to fund their studies. With 50% of student nurses having children, this is truly appalling. When students already have barriers and difficult circumstances in their way when it comes to education, we should give them support. Not more debt.
- The cap on places for student nurses will be lifted, providing a potential 10’000 more places. The effects of this are as of yet unknown, but I feel we should be very wary.
- They are converting the maintenance grant to further loans. Which will mean that students from the poorest backgrounds will face up to £53’000 of debt.
- There will be no age cap on Postgrad loans. It was originally proposed that there would be an age cap of 30 on loans for postgraduate study, but this is no longer the case. Which is brilliant news.
- The student opportunity fund could be cut ‘up to half.’ I can hear Richard Brooks crying from here.
- The loan repayment threshold will be frozen up until 2021. Which is all mathematical and complicated, but basically means anyone who took out a student loan from 2012 on-wards and who is earning over £21’000 per year will have to pay back a higher amount of their wage than what they have previously. Basically leaving graduates out of pocket, and breaking the promises the government made to you when you signed for you student loan.
- The advanced learner loan has been extended to those studying at level 3 in further education. Which may sound positive, but actually it means that some students will have to take out university-level loans to access courses that should be free, (mind you, I think all education should be free, but hey ho.)
So, there’s my basic round up of the education stuff in the spending review. It’s a terrible thing for students. Really, really terrible.
And on that terribly cheery note, I’m going to end this blog.
However, if you’re outraged by the spending review, and/or the Higher Education green paper, and you want to do something about it, come and lobby Westminster with us!
Edge Hill Students’ Union are taking students to London on the 8th of December to lobby MPs to stand up for students rights, to not break their promises to us, and to give us a fairer deal. In general. Because it’s not fair what they’re currently doing to us.
If you want to come along, get in touch!