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Today we’ve seen brutal evidence of the Tory’s continued attack on students. Not content with simply scrapping EMA, tripling tuition fees and abolishing AimHigher, we have now seen the Maintenance Grants, a lifeline for thousands, pulled from under our feet.

The money these grants offer is often the difference between being able to get into Higher Education or not.  Scrapping them will hit the poorest hardest and make university even more difficult for those who need support the most.

The government must think again. Shutting the door to University for thousands is not the answer to the economic or social problems Britain faces. We’re calling on the student movement to unite in opposition to this ideological attempt to shut the door to education.

It is crystal clear this government isn’t on the side of students and young people. This is the most anti-student budget in a generation, as well as the abolition of the maintenance grants, we’ve seen cuts to child benefit that will make it harder for parents to support children in education, more cuts to FE and tax credits being obliterated.

Education shouldn’t be for the privileged few, abolishing the grant is an ideological attack by a Tory government determined to close the door to education for millions of young people from working families.

Let us be clear, we will oppose the government plans to saddle students with more debt this is not the way to encourage more people into education.

Without grants thousands of our members and hundreds of thousands of students simply wouldn’t be able to attend university. Without grants we become a more unfair, more unequal, and more unjust society.

We’re calling on our members to share their story on twitter with the hashtag #WithoutGrants to show the impact this cut will have. 



Life #WithoutGrants

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During the General Election I was one of many Labour Students knocking on doors across the country in marginal seats. Although the result was disappointing for all of us, we won’t stop campaigning for the values that we believe in.

Since last month, we’ve seen a Queens’s speech that threatens higher education, suggests the scrapping of the Human Rights Act, and proposes tax cuts for the wealthy. For me there’s never been a more important time to be a Labour Student.

The next twelve months are about more than just opposition, they’re about putting forward our party’s vision for the future in the Scottish, Welsh, and London elections. As a Labour Student I know I’ll be at the heart of that campaign.

I joined the Labour Party for the same reasons any of us do, a belief in justice, equality, and fairness. I know that now is the time we need to look forwards to how we rebuild and reshape the future of our party and I’m excited to get that conversation started in Labour Students.

Being a Labour Student has changed my university life, it’s given me new skills, given me the chance to work in exciting campaigns, and put me in the same room (often at the same table!) as some of our country’s best known politicians.

This Summer I’ll be keeping up my campaign spirit working alongside colleagues in Scottish Labour speaking to people across the country. Summer Training is a perfect opportunity to meet new members and learn new skills and I’m really excited to be returning to Cardiff this year. Some of my best memories as a Labour student are from Summer Training, where the focus is on skills and workshops.

We’ve got a lot of work over the next twelve months, and as Labour Students we have to play our part in the conversation about the direction of the party.

See you in Cardiff!


Kate Dearden is Vice Chair Events and Communications, and is Chair of Edinburgh Labour Students. She tweets at @Kate_Dearden


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Labour Students

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