Education Officers, Ridah Hassan and Eleanor Morley
With conservative creeps like Abbott and Pyne calling the shots, students have a fight on our hands. They’ve been in office for roughly 5 months and already they’ve discussed cutting $2.3 billion from higher education, privatising HECS and the removal of the Student Services and Amenities Fee. The Liberals in government is bad news for students.
The $2.3 billion in cuts will include a slashing of $900 million from university budgets, which would put more pressure on the already under-funded higher education system; less course diversity, bigger class sizes and the undermining of general and academic staff conditions and wages. It is predicted that if these cuts go ahead $50 million will be slashed from Sydney Uni. The cuts also include attacks on student welfare, primarily the conversion of the start-up scholarships to HECS loans, which would mean that students who receive the scholarship could now finish university with up to 40% more debt than our wealthy counterparts.
But we’re not going to take these attacks lying down, students need to take a stand against the Abbott government. We need to organize together to demonstrate our opposition, and pressure the government to back down.
And Tony Abbott is used to fighting with the lefty students. In fact when he was a student at Sydney Uni he once warned about the “Marxists…that are operating in the universities.” Well, here we are. And apart from education activism, we’ve also been planning the Marxism 2014 conference which takes place in Melbourne over the Easter break. Marxism is Australia’s biggest left-wing conference, featuring speakers from across Australia and the world, discussing radical history, theory and ideas to challenge the system. For more info see marxismconference.org.
But the first step in taking on Abbott and Pyne is coming out to the education demonstration on the 26th March. This will be an opportunity for students everywhere to stand up for our education, with protests being held all across the country on the same day. Sydney Uni students are meeting at 12pm outside Fisher Library to march as a contingent to UTS where the main demonstration will be held. For more information about the protest or how to get involved in the education campaign contact Ridah Hassan on 0402 667 707 or Eleanor Morley on 0448 029 165 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first Education Action Group meeting for the year will be held Tuesday week 1 on the New Law Lawns at 2pm.