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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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While I do not normally attend rallies, demonstrations and the such like, I am making an exception tomorrow for the NUS' demonstration against the implementation of huge cuts to HE and moving the burden onto the student.

The people making these decisions:
1.) Do not have a mandate to do this. The only reason that they are able to implement the fees review is because the Lib Dems are collaborating, who campaigned on the basis of taking no such action. They seem not to care about formal niceties such as representing the public who elected them.
2.) Went to university for free. Why are they not paying an equal contribution to retrospectively pay the debt they, surely, should now owe?

University is being turned into an economically cost-benefit driven enterprise. University is supposed to be about knowledge for the sake of knowledge, to explore areas of thought and the world that would otherwise remain uncharted. Sometimes this yields huge benefits for humankind, others it does not. It needs funding on the basis of its speculation. It should not promise a skillset valuable to the private sector that will give a "return on investment" to the student, but promise nothing more than an environment to think critically, differently, radically or however this model should be phrased. Perhaps: esoterically.

The policy is hugely regressive for access. The type of student will change from those interested and capable, to those who expect a result and are capable of paying.

People only care about Higher Education if: 1.) they are involved with it. 2.) their children are about to be involved with it. The rest of the time, we are treated as an excessive luxury.

There will be thousands marching tomorrow, but I wonder, for the above reasons of mandate, whether the government actually cares.

I will march anyway.