Understanding the TEF: a brief explanation

Green Paper DOA graphic TEF 4What is TEF?

A Teaching Excellence Framework is being developed by the government to assess the quality of teaching at different institutions. Universities that do well will be allowed to increase their fees above £9k.

Why is it introduced?

When the fee cap was raised in 2010, the government hoped that it would create a market, where the most elite universities can charge more. This hasn’t happened, as almost all courses raised their fees to £9k to make up for the cuts in public funding. TEF is designed to artificially introduce competition between HE providers and lead to variable fees.

But what does “good teaching” mean?

TEF levels (corresponding to different levels of fees) will be awarded by a “panel of experts,” using available data and additional information provided by institutions. The criteria that will be used are still unspecified, but some of the suggested metrics include:

Employment rates and graduate earnings

One of the goals of TEF is making sure that universities provide the skills that businesses want. TEF will look into employment statistics, and institutions that produce the most employable and highest paid graduates will be rewarded.


Big business having a say in curriculum development.

Less emphasis on critical thinking, more on pleasing bosses.

Mass closures of arts and humanities courses.

NSS results

Every year, graduating students receive a National Student Survey where they can rate their university experience.


Even more incentives for universities to game the system, buy positive feedback and focus more on NSS metrics than real student issues.

Pitting students against staff; penalising academics who don’t produce high NSS scores.

Perverse incentives: if students score their institution highly, fees will rise.

Widening Participation

TEF will take into account the number of student from disadvantaged backgrounds and their outcomes.

This is great, but…

At the same time, the government is raising fees, cutting FE and scrapping grants for the poorest students. Now universities will be forced to make up for where the government has failed.

Subjective metrics like “learning environment” and “appropriate pedagogical approaches”


Impossible to measure

More bureaucracy

Less academic freedom

New Strike Motion




Support a Strike Ballot!


  1. That the recent government Green Paper on Higher Education has raised the possibility that, in the future, ministers might raise tuition fees without a vote in Parliament.
  2. That the proposed metrics for the Teaching Excellence Framework are inadequate for assessing teaching quality, and that these metrics may disproportionately benefit market-oriented institutions with a low intake of working-class students.
  3. That higher education institutions which perform well on the Teaching Excellence Framework will be rewarded with the power to raise fees in line with inflation, thus squeezing the budgets of institutions which perform poorly.
  4. That the government intends to convert maintenance grants into maintenance loans, putting the poorest students in the most debt.
  5. That the government has been making significant cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance, endangering access for disabled students to higher education.
  6. That the government proposes to change the conditions for post-2012 student loan repayments, and that these new conditions will affect lower-earning graduates the worst.
  7. That the government has proposed to cut £1.6 billion from the further education budget, putting 4 in 10 colleges in danger of closing.


  1. That students should have the right to democratically decide how we fight against the government’s attacks on further and higher education.
  2. That there are many cases for and against the strike tactic, but that these arguments should be had by students at large in a democratic process.
  3. That the student movement will only ever win on the basis of mass grassroots participation.


  1. To inform the NUS that this union supports a ballot on the questions and demands specified herein:


“Should students take strike action on 15th and 16th February to defend students, colleges and universities from current government attacks, which threaten to further marketise education?”


“The demands of the strike are to defend students, colleges and universities from current government cuts and attacks. The specifics are:

1. That tuition fees are not increased, and that the power to raise them undemocratically is not handed over to the Secretary of State.

2. That the Teaching Excellence Framework, which will only further harm education, pressuring and overburdening academics and workers in an already intense climate of uncertainty, is scrapped.

3. That increases in the cost of education for the poorest and most vulnerable students are halted: that cuts to Disabled Students’ Allowance and cuts to maintenance grants are reversed, and that student loan repayment conditions are not worsened.

4. That all cuts to further and adult education since 2015 are halted and reversed.”

Strike to Win: the Rationale Behind Changing Strike Demands













Callum Cant, NCAFC NC

How do you go about deciding what demands to strike over? The NCAFC has raised hundreds of demands over the years – from the most prominent, like Free Education, to the less prominent, like a 5:1 pay ratio between the highest and lowest paid staff on campus.

First, we want to strike demands to be an effective part of reaching our end goal. Our end goal is a Free Education system – free in the broadest sense. We really do want to win, and so we have to make sure that our demands can’t be easily sidestepped or misconstrued.

Second, we want our strike demands to matter to students. There is no point trying to convince tens of thousands of students to go on strike over issues they don’t give a shit about. It’s not going to work, and everyone will get very tired very quickly. Which is why demands have to be very limited in number, simple to communicate, and appeal directly to the interests of the majority of students. If we want genuine mass democratic action, it has to be about something that matters.

Third, we want our strike demands to be realistically winnable. Our comrades in Quebec, the ASSE, have a phrase: “Strike to Win”. That means, we don’t go into a fight expecting to lose. We don’t spend huge amounts of time, effort and resources building campaigns only to watch them fail. We want to win, and so we will strike on demands that we can win.

But this process of developing demands cannot be static. The government’s tactic with the green paper was – somewhat transparently – to delay until we had a national demonstration, and then totally change the focal point of their attack. From grants as the primary focus, we have had to re-organise our defence of education towards the marketisation measures set out in the green paper. If we ignore this change, and press on with a strike about grants alone, then we are ignoring how the antagonism between students and the government is developing.

It should be a principle that NCAFC doesn’t tell students what they should care about and what their interests are. We’re not interested in dictating the direction of struggle from the top down. Instead, we should always work to recognise that we have things to teach each other – and we have to be alive to changing conditions on campuses across the country. This is the fundamental reasoning behind why we’ve changed the demands behind the student strike.

In response to developments, therefore, we’ve now widened the model strike motion to include Green Paper proposals. Now, as well as demanding grants for the million poorest students we will also demand no tuition fee increases, the scrapping of plans for bullshit teaching metrics, the reintroduction of Disabled Students Allowance and the reversal of cuts to FE.

We now need to pass this motion in 28 unions – we don’t have much time to spare! If we seriously want to pursue this strike, every SU with a left wing presence must submit this motion to a vote as soon as possible.

How to take action on your campus on November 26th?











On November 26th students will take action on their campuses across the UK to start the campaign to save education before it’s murdered by the market! Here is a few ideas of what you can do on your campus that day:

1. ReJoJohnson2spond to the consultation!

Fill in your response to the consultation and proposed reforms!

a) Fill in a postcard: We have invested in some postcards directed at Jo Johnson. Organise a stall on your campus, to talk to students about the Green paper and then ask them to fill out a postcard with their response to the consultation. In a few weeks we will then arrange for these postcards to get to University Minister Jo Johnson in a memorable way.. We can send you a stack of postcards – just order them by emailing us: [email protected]

b) Talk to your local UCU branch about what they think about the green paper? A lot of the measures – especially the TEF – will affect them massively. Some academics had this letter in the Guardian a few weeks back. Why not ask lecturers on your campus to sign it?

c) Collect signatures for this petition: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/112077

2. Ensure your Vice Chancellor speaks out against the Green Paper!

vcoccupationVice Chancellors and university managements have actually more influence in the direction of university education than they want you to think. However, in the past university managements haven’t been particularly on our side and have been one of the biggest lobby groups for higher or uncapped fees. Hence, don’t waste too much time trying to be nice to your VC. Instead:

a) Occupy your VC’s office: Take a group of 20-30 students and occupy your VC’s or other relevant senior management offices. Say, that you won’t leave till they have agreed to speak out against the TEF and other bad policies in the Green paper. We are currently working on a letter which can be used across the UK and which you could ask your VC to sign.

b) Picket their offices: If occupying isn’t for you or you don’t think you can organise an occupation, then just picket their offices all day. Be loud (pots and pans and megaphones?) and be visible. Demand that they come and speak to you!

c) Organise a demonstration on campus: This is always a good way of bringing in new people and getting your message out to lots of students. Why not march to the management building…?

3. Educate yourselves and everyone on campus about the dangers of marketisation in Higher Education 

greenpaperflyera) By holding a teach-in:  Occupy a big room or public space for the afternoon and put on a program of lectures, discussions and arts&crafts. Advertise the programme online and in posters in advance, but advertise a *mystery location*. On the day you then direct people to wherever you are… Is there a lecturer on your campus who is outspoken against the Tories and is for a public university? Then invite them to do a talk. There is also many students, academics and activists across the country who could come down. Get in contact with us if you want help or a speaker.

b) Organise a public meeting at night: If you are doing other actions during the day, why not organise a public meeting about the measures in the green paper at night? Use the day to get the word out and then educate people at night. Again, if you need help with speakers, let us know.

c) Organise a stall on campus during the day, talk to people about the Green paper and give them these flyers that we have produced (email us to order them: [email protected])
3. Fill in your response to the consultation and proposed reforms!
The NCAFC is investing in some materials to amplify the oppositional voices of students at Universities and colleges across the country. If you want some for your campus, send us an email and let us know, then we’ll arrange with you to make sure these postcards all get to University Minister Jo Johnson in time for the consultation deadline in a memorable way…

National Conference 2015 – schedule announced!




Friday 4 Dec

20:00 – Film: TBC (& pizza!)

Saturday 5 Dec

10:00 – Registration
10:30 – Plenary session: “The Fight for Education is Global”
11:10 – break
11:20 – Workshop Session A
1) Organising in FE: how to build a mass movement against the 1.6 billion cuts
2) So, your activist group has shrunk? How to reboot it and organise in HE
3) Organising nationally: Reflecting on NCAFC’s work over the past year
4) Rethinking Labour: organising for free education inside the Labour party
12:20 – Liberation caucus: Black
13:05 – Lunch
13:45 – Workshop Session B
1) What would a comprehensive university look like?
2) How can we reverse the cuts to maintenance grants and DSA?
3) What does it mean to demand ‘No Borders’?
14:45 – break
15:00 – Liberation caucus: LGBTQ
15:45 – Workshop Session C
1) The Green Paper in detail
2) Building the Student Strike
3) Creative campaigning: get inspired!
16:45 – break
16:55 – Liberation caucus: Disabled
17:40 – break
17:50 – Plenary session: “Fighting the Green Paper”
19:15 – close

Evening: Social!

Sunday 6 Dec

09:45 – Registration
10:00 – Plenary session: “COP21 and Climate justice”
10:30 – Liberation caucus: Women
11:15 – break
11:30 – Democratic Session A
Safer Spaces Committee elections
Motions debate
12:45 – Lunch
13:15 – Democratic Session B
14:30 – break
14:45 – Democratic Session C
15:45 – break
16:00 – Democratic Session D
National Committee elections
16:45 – Plenary session: Closing remarks
17:30 – conference close

Monday 7 Dec

09:30 – National Committee Meeting (open to all members)
13:00 – Lunch
13:45 – National Committee Meeting continued
15:30 – close

LIVEBLOG: #students4migrants day of action

13:49 – HERE’S Sheffield

13:23 – WARWICK are also out and about today.

13:15 – WE’VE got our first Guardian coverage.

12:59 – ESSEX have a really big turnout today.


12:40 – SOME absolutely great stuff happening at the Daily Mail. And it isn’t the journalism.

12:33 – WE’RE marching on the Daily Mail. Because it’s shit, racist paper.

12:22 – AND here’s Manchester SU starting their action.


12:21 – STUDENTS have put up lists of names of refugees on the walls – this is the human toll of how our borders operate.

12:12 – THIS just in. The Royal College of Art in Kensington are taking part. This day of action is really seeing wide participation.

12:11 - HERE’S Mostafa Rajaii – NUS International Students’ Officer – speaking to some of the crowds today.

11:53 – HUNDREDS of students have walked out of their classes at Goldsmiths!


11:40 – READING Student Action for Refugees have put on a great display this morning.


11:39 – GOLDSMITHS are getting ready

11:22 - ABSOLUTELY great stuff happening at Sussex. Banner drops, demos and stalls.

10:59 - A good turnout at City and Islington College, by the looks of things.

10:54 – AND here’s the beginnings of something at LSE. What are the bets these guys don’t actually work for the Border Agency?


10:53 – DEMO happening at Kingston now.

10:49 – JUDGING by their twitter presence, Essex will see one of the biggest actions today.

10:18 – IF you’re sending us stuff today, please *tweet* it at us, rather than emailing (or, if it’s something that has to be emailed, please let us know about it on twitter by DM). The handle to tweet at is @NCAFC_UK

10:15 – WORD is that we’re expecting things to kick off at around 10:30 or 11. We’ll keep you informed and updated until just after lunchtime, when I either clock off or get paid overtime. (N.B. noone in NCAFC ever gets paid – what I mean is that I will eat biscuits at a higher rate).

10:07 – STUDENTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) are first off the mark, with a picket line and banner.

10:02 – HELLO, and welcome to our live blog of the #students4migrants day of action, called by the NUS International Students Campaign, and supported by NCAFC and others.

Here’s an initial press release:

Students Take Action to Demand Migrants’ Rights

Contact: 07850652962

Students all over the country are taking action to demand migrants’ rights today, as they participate in a day of action called by the NUS’s International Students’ Campaign.

The day, called under the banner “International Students’ Campaign Day of Solidarity” aims to encourage all students to stand in solidarity with migrants and tackle anti-migrant rhetoric and policies in the UK.  Students will be walking out of classes and holding rallies, demonstrations and stunts in support of this.  

The day is supported by organisations such as the UCU, the academic workers’ union, and the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, who recently made “No Borders” a core demand of their national demonstration.

Raquel Palmeira, NCAFC LGBTQ Rep, said “We don’t just want nicer immigration laws for international students; we are demanding a world without borders and with free migration.  We are organising a mock checkpoint at UCL, where students will be asked to sign in at a border before entering.  This might seem like a stunt but it is a reality for many international students who have their attendance monitored and live under the threat of deportation if they don’t find work.”

Mostafa Rajaai, NUS International Students’ Officer, said: “We want to send a clear message to the government that students in this country overwhelmingly reject the attitude and direction that the UK has adopted regarding immigration. The failure to respond adequately to the refugee crisis, the mistreatment of international students and the constant attacks on migrants’ rights are all part of the wider anti-migrant sentiment which is on the rise in the UK political establishment and we wholeheartedly oppose it.”

Alex Norman, NCAFC International Rep said: “ The demand for free education is empty if it is not inclusive of migrants. We cannot solve the migrant crisis and anti-immigration rhetoric by making small changes, we can only put it off.  We have to have clear demands for the destruction of borders, free movement and full support for migrants. We also express solidarity to those in Paris and Beirut, where students will have been many of the victims and those who will now face victimisation and heightened racism because of them.”

Sabb sacked for setting up a crowdfunder: maybe the worst thing we’ve ever seen an SU do

upsu-about-imageAn injury to one is an injury to all – defend Jess Small!

In October, Jess Small, the elected VP Welfare at the University of Plymouth Students’ Union (UPSU) was told that she would not be funded to attend NUS Zone Conferences –  effectively the first NUS conference of the year, where union officers get together to discuss policy and elect NEC members.

Jess was elected in March, and this was not the first time that she and other left-wingers at Plymouth have faced artificial obstacles in doing their job: in September the union exec also decided not to back the national free education demo, despite having explicit referendum policy to support free education. Undeterred by the refusal to fund her attendance at NUS Zone conference, Jess decided to take the step of setting up an online crowdfunder, and she successfully raised money from supporters to attend.

What was the real scandal here? The fact that Jess was denied the ability to do her job and go to the NUS event as a representative, and was instead forced to go begging on the internet for money to do so? No – UPSU found that the real scandal was the fact that Jess had set up the crowdfunder. On Thursday, following a month-long suspension from her post, they sacked her for it.

Put another way, Jess has been sacked for going above and beyond in order to do her job, and attempting to subsidise the activities of her employer. How on earth could this happen?

In March, Jess was elected with a big mandate – 2610 people voted in her election. In order to have her sacked, the union bypassed all officer accountability processes in the Constitution and Byelaws, and enacted the staff disciplinary code. She was sacked by a panel of two external trustees (i.e. unelected non-students), and proceedings were kept secret from the student body. There has been no recourse to any form of democratic process whatsoever since the process began.

The backbone of the case against her is that she engaged in “serious acts of insubordination” – i.e. setting up the crowdfunder. She then “caused damage” to the reputation of the union, by criticising the general situation on social media. The most absurd, though by no means most sinister, accusation, is that she “disseminated confidential information” in an unauthorised manner – not by disclosing any actual confidential information, but simply by the fact that she sought advice and support from fellow activists and others in the student movement. Seeking this support was not seen as a second offence – it was directly included in the original disciplinary process.

The actions undertaken by some elements of the UPSU machine in recent months give you the impression that this is a students’ union that does not understand what student unionism is. Jess’s actions – fighting to represent students and finding (in this case, cost-neutral) routes around obstructive bureaucracy, engaging in a critical discussion of union affairs and seeking improvements, and (in this case, very quietly) telling the world when outrageous things happen – aren’t just defensible. They are some of the most basic, core elements of a good sabbatical officer’s job. Without them, external trustees and senior managers would just run the show.

All over the country, student union officers criticise the leadership of their own unions. Look, here’s Megan Dunn – President of the NUS – literally calling the governing body to whom she is accountable “a disgrace” in the full glare of the national press.

It is worth remarking that any remarks that Jess made about UPSU are of a different (and better) character to what Dunn says here – Jess is accused of criticising unaccountable processes and bureaucracy; Dunn is attacking the union’s democratic body.

Aside from this, you might disagree with Dunn’s remarks and/or the way she made them (we certainly do) but it is vital that she is able to make them without simply being sacked under a staff code for “insubordination” to the organisation’s hierarchy. We accept her right to speak – to say things that we find outrageous – because without this freedom to criticise (in Dunn’s case, in the most hyperbolic terms), it is impossible to have a functioning or democratic union. If we have a problem with it, we’ll raise it in a political forum: in public, or at a democratic meeting or conference.

Good student union officers also routinely find ways around the internal bureaucracy of their unions. They ignore senior staff advice, and do things anyway. They raise their own funds to attend events or run campaigns when getting them internally seems unlikely or too laborious. This isn’t “insubordination” – because student union officers are elected, and they are supposed to be in charge. Officers can be “ordered around” by democratically established policy, not on the whims of a President, or of unelected managers and trustees.

For now, an elected sabbatical officer is losing her livelihood for nothing more than doing her job under difficult circumstances, and Plymouth students are without a VP Welfare. But just as appalling as the outcome is the process, and the precedent this could set. If some elements in UPSU can get away with sacking an SU officer, in a process conducted in secrecy and presided over by unelected non students, then others might too. Jess is appealing the decision to sack her, and solicitors are looking at her case.

An injury to one is an injury to all – defend Jess Small!

We’ll be circulating a statement that can be signed in the next day or so. Email [email protected] to add your name.


Take action with us on November 26: Save education before it’s murdered by the market!


We marched for #GrantsNotDebt, and two days later the Government brought out the HE Green Paper.  In two weeks time, on November 25, the government will announce the results of the BIS Spending Review – coupled with the Green Paper, these combined reforms will completely devastate publicly funded education. That is why on the day after the BIS review we are calling for coordinated action and mobilization on campuses across the country to spark a broad surge of resistance to these proposals. The reforms are currently open to the public for consultation – so let’s make sure that Jo Johnson hears what we think of them: let’s build on the momentum from our demonstration for Free Education and Living Grants for All and save education before it’s murdered by the market!

We demand that fees are not increased – and that the power to raise them is not undemocratically and unaccountably managed by the Secretary of State.

We demand that the market is forced out of our education system: the Teaching Excellence Framework, which will only further harm, pressure and overburden academics and workers in an already intense climate of precarity, is scrapped.

We demand that the ‘reforms’ to the education and student support systems be scrapped.

We demand an immediate reversal of the cuts to maintenance provision.

We demand that private providers are not afforded “easier entry” to the “market”, to repress quality and intensify competition in the interests of short-term profit, but that universities are properly and publicly funded and that education operates as a social good.

We demand also that in this new “funding war”, higher and further education are not pitted against each other, but that there is money for all educational institutions to ensure the flourishing of its students and the welfare of its staff.

None of the government’s reforms are concrete, and we can defeat this new influx of marketisation just as we beat it in 2011, when the Government released its first version of this project.  Between now and January 15, the ideas are open for consultation – and we have an opportunity to influence the conversation around the proposals, and to stop this ideological vision before it wreaks irrevocable damage to education.  The Government has acted unapologetically – and we must respond in kind.  We must demand, agitate and mobilize to defend the very future of education as a collective good.

Take action on your campuses on Nov 26:

  1. Ensure your Vice Chancellor speaks out against the Green Paper.  

It depends on how friendly they are – anything from a stunt outside their office, to an occupation inside it…

2. Hold a teach-in.

Educate yourselves and everyone on campus about the dangers of marketisation in Higher Education – reach out to your campus UCU branch and involve them in the organizing.  Take a room for the afternoon, or occupy a public space; hold large meetings and educational sessions that end in making creative propaganda and preparing for further action and mobilization.  Need someone who knows the Green Paper inside out to come and have a chat?  No problem – email us at [email protected]

  1. Fill in your response to the consultation and proposed reforms!

The NCAFC is investing in some materials to amplify the oppositional voices of students at Universities and colleges across the country.  If you want some for your campus, send us an email and let us know, then we’ll arrange with you to make sure these postcards all get to University Minister Jo Johnson in time for the consultation deadline in a memorable way…

More information on the Green Paper: http://anticuts.com/2015/11/06/government-plans-full-marketisation-time-to-fight/

Solidarity with #shutdownyarlswood – the fight goes on!

NCAFC member yarlswood1and phd student Arianna Tassinari reports on yesterday’s demonstration outside the Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre.
Activists from all over the UK descended on Yarl’s Wood immigration detention centre in Bedfordshire on November 7th, as part of a national mobilisation organised by the Movement for Justice by Any Means Necessary and supported by a wide number of organisations. The demonstration called for an immediate end to the practice of immigration detention and the closure of Yarl’s Wood, and acted as a rallying call against the xenophobic and racist migration policy agenda pursued by UK government. Yarl’s Wood is one of the 13 detention centres in the UK, and it has been repeatedly condemned for the extremely poor treatment of detainees since it was opened in 2001, including allegations of sexual abuse and other forms of mistreatment against detainees.

A 1,500 strong, powerful and loud contingent led by migrants, asylum seekers and former detainees marched towards Yarl’s Wood through muddy fields, to assemble at the fences which surround the isolated prison-like complex, defeating the pouring rain. In the second nation-wide mobilisation to target the centre in a few months, the protesters – who had gathered from all over the country, coming from as far as Glasgow – raised chants demanding freedom for and expressing solidarity with the 350 women detained inside, and with all migrants suffering at the hands of the British state. The protest was deliberately loud, banging on the 3 meters high fence which surrounds the centre to break the isolation of the detainees, who participated in the demo from the inside by waving flags and handmade signs from their windows. A primary aim of the protest was indeed to give more voice and visibility to the fight for freedom which the women inside Yarl’s Wood have been leading for months, through petitioning, demonstrating, wearing handmade ‘Freedom’ t-shirts and defending each other from the threat of deportation. Activists climbed on the fence to raise a giant banner and release balloons over the fence; whilst detained women inside spoke to the crowd gathered outside via phone, sending an inspiring message of freedom, resilience and courage.

The importance of this demonstration and of the messages it raised cannot be overstated enough. In the current climate of rising xenophobia and increasing attacks on migrants’ rights to freedom of movement and safe existence within this country, whilst refugees keep suffering and dying at the borders of Fortress Europe, the fight against all borders and to defend and reclaim the rights of all migrants, asylum seekers and refugees to live, work, study, exist safely in this country needs to be at the heart of our movement. Already the National Demonstration for Free Education on November 4th raised ‘No borders’ as a key slogan of our mobilisation – against the attacks that international students in Further and Higher Education face at the hands of the Government, and against the border regime which operates within and through the education system, and that our education institutions become guilty of reproducing and re-enacting.

But the fight against xenophobia and the movement of solidarity with migrants needs to be brought forward, right at the heart of our campuses. As the reading in Parliament of the Government’s Immigration Bill draws closer, we must raise loud and clear the message that students in this country stand in solidarity with all migrants and international students, against all xenophobia and against all borders. NCAFC takes inspiration from the struggle of the women of Yarl’s Wood, and in this spirit of solidarity we will be mobilising en masse on local campuses for the national day of solidarity with international students and migrants on November 17th called by the NUS’ International Students Campaign.

yarlswood2 yarlswood3

Students plan major escalation in reaction to government unlimited tuition fees proposal

ci3a1327Contact: 07415302136, 07919 425137, 07749263622, 07850652962

Late last night, the government released its Higher Education Green Paper – the first major policy paper since the election. It contains a series of changes, which, if implemented, would further entrench the marketisation of universities, and mean that governments could raise fees without even a vote in parliament. This is not just an attack on education as a public service; it is a direct assault on the right of students and the wider public to scrutinise and resist future fee rises.

Following the success of this week’s national demonstration, the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts will fight these proposals – and we will work with all fellow education campaigns, unions and student organisations to build a mass opposition capable of blocking them.

In 2012, the student movement played a major role in forcing the withdrawal of the Higher Education Bill. This time, we are even better prepared and mobilised.

James Elliot, from the NCAFC and a member of the NUS national executive, said: “These proposals are being openly touted by Jo Johnson as treating students as ‘consumers’. If implemented, they will mean potentially unlimited tuition fees, and, by linking teaching funding to graduate earnings, threaten to impose cuts on humanities and the arts. It will be a disaster for students and education workers alike, meaning more fees and debt, and threatening jobs too.”

Deborah Hermanns, from the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts, said: “This week, ten thousand students marched through central London against the marketization of education and cuts to maintenance grants. Students across the country have shown a willingness to oppose and defeat the government through a campaign of direct action – and this campaign will now escalate.”

A national day of action has already been called on November 17th over the rights of international students, migrants and refugees, and could form a hook for a new wave of action, including occupations and further protests. Students are also currently planning the first student strike in the UK in decades.