Timetable for the Day

National Convention Against Fees and Cuts

Timetable

10.30am- Registration

11- 1145am- Opening Plenary Session

NB: The room for the conference is the Jeremy Bentham Room, which is directly under the main dome of UCL. Use the main entrance on Gower Street.

With contributions from Joana Pinto (UAL), Tali Janner-Klausner (School Students Union), UCU representative followed by discussion from the floor.

1150- 1250pm- Workshop Session 1

== Busting Myths; Fighting Cuts- An Introduction== Room: Cruciform B.09

==The Bologna process and the International student movement== Room: Pearson G.23

==NUS and Student Unions== Room: Cruciform B.01

== The role of Liberation Campaigns == Room: Pearson G.17

1250- 140- Lunch in the main room

Provided by SOAS Detainee Support group.

140- 240pm – Regional Workshops

The North (Pearson G23) / The South (Pearson G17)  / London (Cruciform B01) / School & FE Students (Cruciform B09)

(space is available for other regions if necessary)

250-350- Workshop Session 2

== Occupation is a Right!== Room: Pearson G.17

== Welfare Cuts and how to fight them == Room: Pearson G.23

==What sort of Education do we want?== Room: Cruciform B.01

== Working with Trade Unions on and off campus== Cruciform B.09

4- 530pm- Closing Plenary Session

Workshops will feed back with proposals for future events and co-ordination. This will be followed by an action planning session, the most important session of the day.

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Drink and chatter will commence after the closing session in the Grafton Arms, Grafton Way.

Want to make a night of it? Crash space is available- ask at the registration desk.

Get Involved

There are loads of ways to get involved in the planning and organisation of the National Convention –

Join the Facebook group.

Come to a regional planning meeting to discuss the agenda – to find out more about these, check out our Events Page

Put a motion to your Students’ Union calling for support for the National Convention, and try and get funding to take a bus to London for February 6th.

If you have any ideas about the agenda for the convention, about workshops, or about mobilisation and publicity, email

[email protected]
or
againstfeesandcuts@gmail.c[email protected]

See you on February 6th!

What is the Convention about?

The National Convention Against Fees & Cuts is being organised by UCL Students for Free Education, with support from students across the country. It aims to provide an opportunity to bring together free education and anti-cuts campaigns from universities and colleges across the country including students’ unions, political groups and trade unions active on the issue.

The convention aims to strengthen and broaden the campaigns against cuts, and for free education. Like fees, cuts are a national issue. The cuts taking place on each campus are part of a national picture, with 6,000 jobs at 45 campuses under threat. With this and the threat of increased fees after the election, students need to organise a national, political voice against cuts and fees.

Especially during a recession, both students and workers need to organise against cuts and closures – departments face closure on campuses across the UK and thousands of public sector jobs both inside and outside of education are set to go. We need to share our skills and information if we are to defend high quality education and job security for the workers we rely on.

The convention is open to all, whether they are official representatives of a students’ union or similar organisations, or whether they are just individual students or workers. In order for the convention to be effective UCL Students for Free Education want as many people to be involved as possible. See if your union will organise or subsidise transport.

Sussex and UCL students’ unions have declared support for the convention. See if you can get your union to pass a motion in support of the convention too, and commit to sending representatives.

Contact:

[email protected] 07964 791 663

conventionagainstfeesandcuts.wordpress.com

National Convention Against Fees and Cuts

More meetings like this, please

All those against cuts and fees?

On 6th of February UCL Students for Free Education will host the National Convention Against Fees and Cuts, an all-day conference of action, discussion and entertainment for anyone who thinks higher education should be free for all. We are looking to call the conference in co-operation with all sections of the student movement still willing to stand and fight – especially sympathetic unions. With a relentless assault of cuts, threats and marketisation from the government, and an NUS leadership unwilling to seriously challenge it, there is a real danger that Free Education – until so recently a reality – could fall off the political map altogether.

If Free Education is to remain on the agenda, it is now more vital than ever that the student movement set out its stall and reclaim the momentum. In part, this will mean restating what we stand for – that education is a right not a privilege, that it should be democratically controlled for the benefit of all. But most crucially we must set out our stall, commit ourselves and our organisations to a renewed and organised struggle against cuts and marketisation, as well as properly addressing the wider questions – what should education be about, and how could and should it be funded if not by us?

A National Convention should give us an opportunity to address these questions, and to reignite student activism about education. It will also give us a route to participating internationally: we look to invite speakers from abroad, and to draw conclusions from the international fight for Free Education.

And, as, always, we will need to do that thing so seldom mentioned by earnest gatherings – have fun! We anticipate big attendance, free food, comedy, music, high-profile speakers and bags of opportunity to contribute.

If you are active in an organisation or Union that is sympathetic to Free Education and might be willing to support the conference, please get in touch with us at [email protected] We will be looking to co-ordinate the collaborative elements of the conference – such as a possible ‘declaration of fighting Unions’ – with all of its supporters at some point in early autumn. Please get in touch, and join our Facebook group at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=108319208229&ref=ts

We will be working on the logistical aspects of the convention for some time to come, but we are already aware that it will be difficult for some to attend all day without some kind of accommodation, and will be drawing up a list of people willing to host.

About

Hi! This is the blog for the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. The Convention Against Fees and Cuts took place on the 6th of February, and launched the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts. It aims to bring together all the different campaigns going on at campuses around the country that are facing cuts; and all students who are fighting against tuition fees.

Cuts, like fees, are a national issue affecting all students and education workers – currently 6,000 jobs are at risk at over 45 campuses, with more on the way. After the election it is highy likely that the cap will come off tuition fees. There are a lot of anti-cuts and anti-fees campaigns happening on individual campuses; but they need to come together, to support each other, share information and experience, and form a national voice for students and education workers, to deal with these national problems. That’s what the Campaign is for.
Use this blog to co-ordinate with other student campaigns, share news and information, and find out about the Campaign. The Campaign will be holding regular, open co-ordinating meetings around the UK – so keep checking the blog to find out what’s going on near you!

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Report of the Convention

Over 150 students, lecturers and campus staff, representing anti-cuts campaigns from more than a dozen campuses around the country attended the National Convention Against Fees and Cuts on Saturday 6th February in University College London. The Convention had been called to co- ordinate the fight against the massive cuts that the government and university managements have announced in education. At campuses all over the country, campaigns against cuts have been springing up over recent months, and demonstrations, meetings and strike ballots are taking place sporadically.  The Convention voted to constitute an ongoing Campaign Against Cuts and Fees, to bring these different campaigns together and to organise structures and joint actions.

After reporting on the national situation in the opening plenary, delegates from local campaigns met with others from their region, to elect regional convenors and plan actions and future meetings on a regional and national level. Students and staff from the different campaigns took the opportunity to share reports on their local situation and discuss how best to mutually support each other. Regional co-ordination meetings will be taking place regularly in the North, the South, London and East Anglia; and regional and national email lists are being set up.

An open national steering committee will be meeting regularly – its first meeting is to take place on the 21st of February.

In workshops delegates discussed practical questions surrounding how best to build unity between staff and students, how to structure a campaign and run a successful occupation. The Convention also heard from students from the education strike movement in Austria, who had come to report to UK students and gather information to take back to their own campuses. The Convention resolved to send representatives to future European meetings and mobilisations, in particular the Bologna counter-summit in March. In discussions around attacks on student union democracy, students developed a charter of demands relating to SU democracy.

In the final session where the Campaign was officially launched, the Convention voted on a set of resolutions, which will be published shortly. It pledged support for the coming occupations and strikes against cuts, and support for students organising internationally, and for migrant workers organising on our campuses. The meeting voted to support the UCU’s national demonstration on the 20th of March.

The Convention also voted to call a national meeting to discuss running a united anti-cuts slate in the NUS, to strengthen the call for a real fight against cuts and fees in the student movement.

We call on all students and staff fighting against cuts to come and attend the regional meetings of the Convention, and co-ordinate their activities through this network.

For more information, or to send reports of campaigns or cuts from your campus to be put up on the blog, email us at againstfeesandcuts @ gmail.com or call 07775 763 750
The texts that were voted on at the Convention will be published shortly.