The Executive Officers update on the Students United Against Fees (SUAF) campaign and the day of action taking place on Thursday 29th April.
We know this has been an incredibly hard year for students. The Students' Union has been acutely aware of students’ desires for a reduction in tuition fees due to the effects of the pandemic. Thank you for voicing your concerns, whether it was via informal conversations or motions passed at Student Council and the Annual Student Meeting - we wholeheartedly agree that students deserve better. We’ve been having these conversations with the University but have also looked at the wider picture and joined forces with the national campaign Students United Against Fees (SUAF). The campaign is being spearheaded by LSE Students’ Union and aims to get compensation on tuition fees for all students enrolled at UK universities, without bankrupting universities. This is why we are focusing our efforts on lobbying the Government as they ultimately have the power to better support universities and their students.We are looking to the Government to release funds directly to universities and for them to be distributed among the student body. This includes ALL students - home, international, undergraduate and postgraduate.
We recognise that, as students, we have been left paying for a type of education we have not received, our needs have been ignored and millions of students, especially international students, have been exploited. The government’s failed handling of the pandemic has meant that many of us have been forced to pay at least £9000 for online learning, which many of us have found to be less engaging and often likened to ‘watching glorified PowerPoints’. Universities have done what they could given the disruption caused by the pandemic, but this year has unfortunately not offered value for money and we have not received what we paid for. If the government is to continue marketing Higher Education as a business, as it currently does, we must be prepared to act as consumers and demand better.
On Thursday 29 April, we will be coming together as a movement and demand better in a day of digital protest. We are cosigning a complaint letter to Boris Johnson and will be sharing posts on our social media channels @qmsu. We’d love for you to get involved too if you’d like to be a part of this protest.
How can I get involved?
Sign The Letter
The campaign has put together a letter explaining students’ situations, demanding a meeting to discuss these issues and demanding financial compensation for all students. Sign it here and share it with your friends!
Record A Short Video
Send us a 15-30 second video saying you’re from Queen Mary University of London and talk about your experience this year, and why you support students getting their fees back. Either send this to us before the 29th by messaging us @qmsu or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, so these can be shared by SUAF and on our Students' Union pages. Alternatively, upload to your own social media account so we can share your story! Use the hashtags #suaf and #studentsdeservebetter and tag @qmsu and @SUAF.
Spread The Word
Tweet your local MP asking them to also support the demands outlined by the campaign and share student stories through their channels throughout the day. You can find your local MP here. Make sure to tag @suaf21 on Instagram, @suaf211 on Twitter and @StudentsUnitedAgainstFees on Facebook.
Use social media however you know best - whether you’re making memes, TikToks, or writing out your frustrations, it’s important to make as much of an impact we can on the 29th April!
Thank you for your support, and let's collectively make a difference!