Yesterday (8th December 2015), a group of students from Edge Hill University and Liverpool travelled incredibly early in the morning to London for the #CutTheCosts Westminster Lobby at the Houses of Parliament.
#CutTheCosts is a campaign run by NUS (National Union of Students) concerning an increase in student debt. This includes preventing a rise in university fees and the scrapping of maintenance grants, and instead, turning them into repayable loans. Therefore, this will land upcoming students with even more debt. Find out more about the campaign here.
Support from Labour MPs
The purpose of the Westminster Lobby was for students and Students’ Union officers from all over the UK to meet with their local MPs and discuss views about the #CutTheCosts campaign. The MPs that we met were Nigel Evans (MP for Ribble Valey, Conservative); Bill Esterson (MP for Sefton Central, Labour); and Marie Rimmer (MP for St Helens South and Whiston, Labour).
We had the biggest support from both Labour MPs, who have vowed to support UK students. We “raised concerns about Government cuts to maintenance grants and planned changes to grants for student nurses” (Marie Rimmer, below) and both Rimmer and Bill Esterson showed their support.
Continuing the Campaign
After meeting with the MPs, we went along to hear some brilliant speeches by MPs and members of the NUS who are all supporting the campaign. They raised important points about the potential negative future of upcoming students under the current Conservative government. It was great to see so many students and officers from all over the UK completely fill up the room to hear these powerful speakers. All students were encouraged to do what they can to continue the campaign until we see a step in the right direction.
Although the majority of the Edge Hill students who attended the Lobby will be graduating this year or within the next couple of years, it is incredibly important that we help shape the future for prospective students. The future is in our hands – we are the ones who must strive to change it for the better.
Education should be a right, not a privilege.
It’s not only those who attended yesterday’s Lobby who can help with the campaign: you can help too.
Rosie McKenna (Vice President for Academic Representation at Edge Hill’s Student Union) said: “Jeremy Corbyn has put forward an Early Day Motion (EDM) to save maintenance grants. I’ve tweeted the two MPs we met with yesterday asking them to sign it, if you could tweet/email/get in touch with your local MP and ask them to put their names on it, that’d be great.”
You can do that here: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/829
Thank you for reading. Let’s change the future!
- “NUS launches #CutTheCosts campaign” – NUS website, 17th July 2015
- Early Day Motion (EDM) to save maintenance grants
- See what people are saying about the campaign on Twitter
- Keep updated by following NUS UK on Twitter