'National day of action' against sell-off of student debt planned across UK

Students on more than 20 campuses aim to protest the Government's plans

Students on more than 20 campuses across the country are preparing to take part in a national day of action against the government’s plans to privatise the student loan book. The wave of action will take place tomorrow and is being co-ordinated by the Student Assembly Against Austerity, which held its launch rally earlier this month.

The government’s announcement in late June of this year that they intend to sell off student debt to private companies before the next general election has caused widespread concern that this will lead to an increase in the financial burdens placed on students and graduates. 

This concern is well placed. As a secret report for the government has revealed, in order to make sure the student loan book is profitable for private companies the cap on interest for repayments would need to be increased or removed all together. To put it bluntly, this proposal would cause student debt to soar and represents a retrospective hike in tuition fees, in violation of the agreements students entered into on getting the loans.

James Elliott, a student activist from Oxford University, who is taking part in the national day of action next week, has explained why he is determined to build a movement to stop student loans being privatised: "imagine a policy that would retrospectively increase tuition fees, move a huge sum of public debt into private hands, cost the government money in the long-run, and plunge students into even higher debt." 

In response to this threat, students are beginning the task of building a mass movement on every campus. Next Wednesday’s national day of action will see hundreds of students attend open air rallies at universities in Liverpool and Oxford whilst at MidKent College students will be taking on “an obstacle course of student debt” in a symbolic protest that will highlight the financial barriers in the way of young people in further education accessing higher education. Students in Norwich, Manchester and York will be demanding their local MPs join the growing opposition in Parliament to the student debt sell-off, whilst a wave of banner drops, ‘debt ins’ and other creative protest and direct action will sweep across many other campuses.

The national day of action on Wednesday 20 November will mark the start of a serious, national mass movement to stop the Tory-Liberal government from succeeding in their plan to privatise student loans. As awareness amongst students grows that this proposal represents just as much an attack as the trebling of tuition fees in 2010, the Government should prepare for a massive wave of opposition if they try to push this through.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000: SThree: SThree have recently been awa...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £21000 per annum + uncapped commission: SThree: As a graduate you are...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate / Junior Software Developer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate/Junior Software Deve...

Ashdown Group: Junior Application Support Analyst - Fluent German Speaker

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn