You’ve probably seen the student protests and sit-ins taking place across the country on the news recently. You may have read the proposals - the cuts to education and the increase in tuition fees – that the students are contesting.
The students are right. Far from being a necessary measure to aid economic recovery (in the short term, the implementation of these proposals will cost more than keeping the current system), tuition fee rises and education cuts constitute a terrifying move towards the privatisation of higher education – with students forced to make decisions about where to study based on cost, not quality, and people from poorer backgrounds priced out altogether.
As alumni, we have a responsibility not to let this happen. We have a responsibility to ensure that future generations benefit from the same free education as we have. As Cambridge alumni we should be putting pressure on university authorities to speak out against the cuts – and stop denying the wishes of their academic staff and students.
Here’s what we can do:
In one minute: Support Cambridge Defend Education after an eleven day occupation of Old Schools, the university’s nerve centre, supported by 300 academics. Let the world know you agree with their demands (here) www.defendeducation.co.uk/old-schools-occupation/our-demands by adding your name to the international petition of support: http://www.gopetition.com/petition/40989.html
In five minutes: print out a copy of the Cambridge Defend Education’s demands and statement and fax it to Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz on 01223 339669. Add your name, college and matriculation year. Fax it once a day to create a “fax – machine siege” that will be impossible to ignore!
In twenty minutes: Write a letter to the Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz expressing your concerns over the future of education and urging him to speak out publicly against the cuts. Links to sample letters are below, but the more personal you make it, the more effective!
Send it to:
The Old Schools
In twenty minutes: Colleges adore their alumni! Write to your alma mater asking for your college to follow the lead of King’s and speak out publicly against the cuts. Links to sample letters are below, but the more personal you make it, the more effective! A list of all current college Masters/Presidents/Principals etc can be found here: List%20of%20College%20Masters%20etc
In twenty minutes: Write a letter to your local MP, urging her/him to vote against the cuts on Thursday. Links to sample letters are below, but the more personal you make it, the more effective! To find your local MP, click here: www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps and select “find your MP” on the left – hand side.
The anti-education cuts movement already has the support of Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, many of the country’s most prominent academics, and hundreds of thousands of ordinary people. Thank you for adding yours.