UK Student movement

Workers' Liberty students

Student activists in Workers' Liberty argue for working class socialist ideas and campaign on issues like freedom of movement, anti-racism, workers' rights, international solidarity and free movement. Usually, every Monday from 6-7pm, Workers' Liberty Students hold informal online political discussions on a wide range of topics with the emphasis on current and relevant struggles. Summer term programme will run from 26 April 2021. Summer term programme will ve: • Monday 26 April: After lockdown: build back better in Higher Education • Monday 3 May: How to fight sexism • Monday 10 May: What...

Student conference: an illusion of engagement

The year leading up to the 2021 National Union of Students (NUS) conference (online, 6-9 April) has seen a revitalising of the student movement, and has thus raised interest in orienting NUS to be a visible campaigning force. Under the left-wing presidency of Larissa Kennedy, NUS has supported the movement against fees and rent through the Students Deserve Better campaign, even if the work has been primarily “lobbying” higher powers, and the claimed victory of £50 million in government support for students falls way short of the £700 million that is demanded. Conference was opened with...

Student campaigns make links

On 1 April student organisers from five London universities met to reflect on lessons and steps forwards for fee strike action. Over 200 students remain on fee strike across Goldsmiths and SOAS, whilst UAL (University of the Arts, London) and LSE (London School of Economics) students are building support among international and postgraduate students, who remain the only groups capable of withholding fees. The strike at RCA (Royal College of Art) is somewhat diminished due to management bullying and threats of border controls against visa-dependent students, but some students are still on...

"Kick the racist out!" Rebellion at Pimlico Academy

Republished from our school workers' blog Class Struggle On Wednesday 31 March, their last day of term, almost a thousand students at Pimlico Academy, the flagship school run by Future Academies, sat down in the playground and refused to go to lessons. The students were protesting a racist school uniform policy, which instructed students with afro hairstyles to cut their hair and students wearing hijabs to cover all of their hair; miserly and “humiliating” free school meal provision; the failure to support students that have been sexually assaulted at school; a whitewashed history curriculum...

Students make new connections

Workers Liberty supporters remain active organising and building a number of struggles across UK universities, promoting a socialist programme for free education and a democratic campus, and building solidarity with staff campaigns. The recently reported fee strikes at SOAS and Goldsmiths in London (Solidarity 583) continue strong, and both campaigns have recently held “superforum events” to build their struggles with other university campaigns. Connecting with rent strikes and campus union campaigns has been prioritised in both fee strikes, and making space to build understanding between...

Fee strikes and solidarity

Talk of fee strikes is starting to spread through the UK student movement. There are fee strikes ongoing at SOAS University of London and Royal College of Art (RCA); they started in January primarily due to students feeling they have not received “value for money”. Fee strikes are particularly feasible at those universities because of the high proportion of international and postgraduate students, who pay fees from their own accounts, and can therefore withhold them. Home undergraduates’ fees are paid directly by UK student finance, and so they cannot “fee-strike”. The ongoing strikes remain...

SOAS starts a fees strike

Students at SOAS [a university in London centred on the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East] are refusing to pay fees as leverage to win their demands on the university management. Close to 1000 students (out of around only 5000 “campus” students, i.e. students who would be on campus in usual conditions, as distinct from those online-only anyway) signed a petition supporting the call for a bailout, pledging solidarity with staff against insecure contracts and “restructuring”, and further demanding that the university does not comply with the government’s Prevent and Hostile...

University battles over job cuts

As rent strikes continue around the UK, other fronts of struggle in higher education are opening up. Leicester and Liverpool Universities have recently announced redundancies of academic staff. A strike planned for 8 February at Brighton University over cuts in the IT services was called off after management made some concessions but the fight continues. Action Short of Strike by UCU members at Goldsmiths continues with no sight of management backing down on long-threatened redundancies, despite no drop in student numbers. Many university managements are using the pandemic as an opportunity to...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.