Angry Defence Ed protestors will take to the streets of Selly Oak tomorrow
They’re furious about government changes to grants
Defend Education will protest the recent decision by the Conservative government to change the grants offered to the poorest 40 per cent of students into loans.
The protest takes place tomorrow in Selly Oak and the government has said that the reforms made to the budget, including the scrapping of maintenance grants, will save the treasury two billion pounds.
This decision has received plenty of criticism, not just from educational protestors such as Defend Education, but also from individuals who will now suffer.
In response, members of Defend Education will meet at local Selly Oak pub The Goose and together they will protest the reformation made by the Conservative government.
In a recent press release, Defend Education said:
“Almost 500,000 students currently receive maintenance grants and around 7,000 of those are students at the University of Birmingham. The protest is part of a day of action called National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC) to coincide with NUS’ national lobby at parliament.”
Rhiannon Storer, an activist at Defend Education, said:
“Working class students like me rely on these maintenance grants to live and to buy the books for our classes. The government is punishing us for being poor and it is completely unfair.”
Second year lawyer Christina Feng said:
“I think the scrapping of maintenance grants is unfair as it makes a university education unaffordable to less well off families. Making those grants now repayable means more student debt to pay, increasing the burden of debt.
“Maintenance grants are sometimes the only way these students could afford to fund living expenses at university, taking it away would discourage people from applying to University.”
An anonymous student has also agreed that replacing student grants with loans may have discouraged her from attending university.
However, when asked about her thoughts regarding the protest, she said:
“At the end of the day, they’re only targeting one MP. I understand why they are doing the protest and I do support their actions, but I don’t know how much influence this protest will actually have.”