Please find below an updated version of the email from Aaron - this time with working links.




Education Funding Campaign Update from Aaron Porter, NUS President



Today I have published an open letter to Simon Hughes with six demands following his appointment as the Government's access advocate focussing on:


         an urgent clarification on the National Scholarship Programme

         ensuring the Government sticks to its promises universities only charge above 6000 in 'exceptional circumstances'.

         force universities to do more to widen participation

         protect the AimHigher programme

         take up the Muslim student finance problem

         crucially, act to save the Education Maintenance Allowance paid to the poorest college students.

Link to the full letter:

The letter has been covered by Sky News this morning, the front page story on the Daily Telegraph and also in the Times Higher Education

We will be taking this forward over the coming weeks, and I have asked VP FE Shane Chowen to lead the EMA campaign, and VP HE Usman Ali to lead on the AimHigher campaign, alongside the wider Project Participation work he has already planned for this term.


This morning the Daily Telegraph also led with a story in response to the latest UCAS figures showing that there are set to be record applications to go to University this year to beat the increase in tuition fees.

Link to story:

Full comment:

"It is hardly surprising that there is a surge in applications as students try to avoid the tripling of tuition fees in 2012, but many well-qualified applicants look set to have the door slammed in their faces again. The Government's response in providing 10,000 fewer places than were planned simply adds to the misery and disappointment of many and a ministerial rethink is urgently required." 

"The overall number of applications to university have continued to rise this year, and will include many of the up to 200,000 applicants who were shut out of university last year by the freeze in places. Each of them will be a year older but no less keen to access higher education than so many of those leaving school looking to better their life chances." 

"The imposition of an arbitrary limit on the number of students will halt the aspiration of well-qualified students of all ages and restrict access to high level skills at a time of growing unemployment, and when it is essential to invest in economic recovery."


Just before the Christmas break you will have seen that I set out an ongoing agenda for NUS to both deal with the HE White Paper, prioritise campaigns to save EMA and AimHigher, and also to join the TUC and UCU in a protest focussing on youth unemployment, cuts, EMA and HE funding in Manchester.

We are still finalising details for this with the TUC, UCU and the Greater Manchester Police and aim to circulate more information once this is confirmed by the end of the week.  I know that many of you are keen to start organising activities and making arrangement for the event.  We would advise you that we are in negotiations about the route and for those travelling to Manchester from across the UK we would recommend aiming to be there for around 10.30am.


For now we can confirm the following details about the Rally:
A Future that Works:  A TUC Rally for Young People

When: Saturday January 29th at 1pm (assemble from 12.30pm)

Where: Platt Fields Park, Manchester


I wish you all a happy new year and best wishes for 2011,



In Unity


Aaron Porter

National President


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