27th July 2020
The coronavirus outbreak has left a devastating impact for many, and for students this is no exception. The year has been cut short, teaching has been moved online and graduations have been postponed. However, above all, there has been a failure to guarantee the security of our futures.
As students, we pay £9250 per academic year in order to access our higher education. This covers lectures, seminars and access to university resources. However, due to industrial action and the implementation of a nationwide lockdown, it is fair to say we haven’t gotten our money’s worth, and for some students this is a primary concern.
In support of the National Union of Students’ Student Safety Net Campaign, our Student Officers have joined forces with the unions at Liverpool John Moores and Liverpool Hope University to launch the campaign; “Cancel Debt Not Futures”.
Additionally they have also written a joint letter to MP’s in Liverpool in order to set out four clear aims designed to best represent the student body.
These aims are not only designed to support Liverpool’s student body, but student bodies all over the U.K. and society as a whole.
The aims of our officers have been echoed by Paula Barker (MP for Wavertree), Kim Johnson (MP for Riverside) and Ian Byrne (MP for West Derby), who have backed the campaign and written a letter to the Secretary State for Education. You can find their response here.
“I was introduced to this campaign by my good friend Jake, the President at Sheffield Students’ Union, and he had messaged me about this campaign, its four demands, and I thought it was brilliant. It was further cemented when speaking with Claire, the Vice President (Higher Education) at the National Union of Students (NUS), about their plans for the Student Safety Net Campaign, which further developed the campaign on a national scale.
As we are likely to go into a recession, the campaign aims to support students financially to mitigate some financial difficulty. The campaign aims to pressure the UK government to cancel loan payments, offer a financial support package for ALL of our students (including international students), reintroduce maintenance grants and we call on our government to create opportunities of employment to protect our future in the job market.
Joining University in 2016, I was part of the cohort that just missed out on maintenance grants. Students since have not received a grant that was otherwise additional financial support in paying rent, food and other necessities – we must get these back. The Coronavirus has exposed the lack of financial support students get and the dangers of charging vast amounts in student fees, we ask the government to do better in supporting our students and graduates.”
– Adnan Hussain, President of Liverpool Guild of Students
For further support and information regarding the campaign, be sure to check out the Guild website and social media, as well as Guild President Adnan’s blog post here! For more information regarding NUS’s Safety Net Campaign, be sure to have a read of their website!
Interested in how our Student Officers are coping in lockdown? Have a read of our socially distanced interview here!
Our officers have also been working hard to tackle the student rent crisis! For more information have a read of this article!
Feature Image Credit: NUS