Cost of living crisis: Leeds university students to protest for grants and abolition of tuition fees today
and live on Freeview channel 276
The protests will occur on Wednesday November 9 and in attendance will be both current students and recent graduates. They will rally at 12pm on the main campus near the Ziff Building at the University of Leeds.
Socialist Students chair at University of Leeds Kat Gwyther commented: “Students are being hit hard by the cost of living crisis, and many students will not benefit from government measures to tackle the crisis. A third of students are left with just £50 a month after rent and bills.
“With strikes by university staff in all three unions at the University of Leeds, primarily over the impact of this cost of living crisis on them as well, then this clearly shows how broken the current university funding model is. We need a model of funding that isn’t based on putting students into lifelong, sometimes unpayable, debt.”
According to a recent National Union of Students survey, 96 per cent of students have cut down on spending as a result of the cost of living crisis, with 68 per cent unable to afford course materials. A further 92 per cent of students in the survey reported that these pressures have affected their mental health.
The demands of the protests include introducing grants for maintenance costs (as opposed to loans), the abolition of tuition fees and decent pay conditions for university staff.
This is the second protest to happen on University of Leeds grounds this week alone. On Monday November 7, the university saw students taking over a lecture theatre in the Esther Simpson Building as part of an international movement dubbed End Fossil: Occupy!, where students are occupying their schools to campaign to end the fossil economy. The students demanded that the university cut its ties to all fossil fuel usage.
Kat added: “When energy companies like BP can make over £7bn in just 3 months, then it shows the money is there to fund education and other public services properly. Such companies should be brought into democratic public ownership to ensure young people get the quality education we need.”