LUU should adopt a policy of 'Free Education' and lobby the government to this effect

Passed: March 2018 (13th)

What's It About?

To be able to say that Leeds University Union believes all education should be free at the point of need.

Why Have You Proposed It?

Education is a public good that we should all be proud to contribute to, in the same vein as the NHS. It is ridiculous to suggest that society does not benefit from university graduates. Healthcare professionals, teachers, lawyers, engineers, scientists and a plenty of other professions can only be accessed through Higher Education and these professions held society as a whole. We should take as much pride in providing education to all as a way of overcoming any inherited disadvantage as we do in providing healthcare to those who need it. Lobbying for a free education means that we believe and aspire that one day University should be free. Coming from a disadvantaged background should not exclude anyone from fulfilling their potential; but tuition fees (even though they are not always upfront) leave students racking up tens of thousands of pounds of debt.

Expires: March 2021 (18th)

Submitted By: Zaki Kaf Al-Ghazal

Officer: Education

Area of Work: Cost of Education

Updates

January 2021: Unfortunately no major updates. The NUS are deprioritising this, so the option of campaigning through the NUS is not there at the moment.

December 2020: The Student Exec have agreed because of the circumstances around COVID, this will not take the form of a big campaign but would rather be embedded in the work of the Exec.

August 2020: There has still been no Government response to the Augur Review. We've had several ministerial changes over the last six months, and the issues raised by Covid (A-Level Results, Places, Online Teaching etc) are likely to raise questions about what a University fee actually gets you.

June 2020: Unfortunately there are no major updates to this work over the summer as a result of lots of LUU staff being furloughed (ongoing), as well as the LUU building and campus being closed. As staff return to work and the new Officer team settle into their roles this will be picked up again. Still no proper government response to Augur Review - though wider changes to Universities are being discussed.

January 2020: We are still awaiting a government response to the Augur Review - we need that to better understand how we could/should lobby.

December 2019: This policy will be revisited after the upcoming General Election. Depending on who has a majority, or otherwise, will determine how we campaign on this (or if we need to).

August 2019: New Government don't appear to be utilising the recommendations outlined in the report. Currently not a priority policy for the Exec Team, Political Engagement Team looking at possibility of opening up the debate on campus. Get in touch with LUU.PET@leeds.ac.uk if you're interested.

June 2019: Augur Review published.

March 2018: This policy was about to expire, and so was re-proposed by the Education Officer and passed again.

May 2017: The bill has passed - will continue to campaign.

March 2017: Education Officer Melz and LUU arranged Disrupt Senate, and the Exec released a statement asking the VC to continue to fight and resist the HE bill.

December 2016: Joint statement from UoL and LUU Exec released

November 2016: Attended National Demo organised by NUS