1. Joint open statement by the LSE Students' Union, University and College Union (UCU), and Howard Davies (Director of the LSE) against the cuts, fees, and the attack on the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

2. No victimisation of Students or Lecturers involved in the occupation or any protests against the cuts.

Sign the Petition in Support

Read our public statement, here.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Gender Institute Supports the Occupation

Faculty and Support Staff at the LSE Gender Institute supports the LSE student occupation and the national campaigns against raising the cap on fees, cutting teaching budgets for humanities and social sciences, and getting rid of the Education Maintenance Allowance.

The coalition government's attack on access to education for all, and the withdrawal of support for an internationally respected sector at precisely the time when other countries are increasing that support, is unacceptable. The impact of the proposed HE and other public sector cuts will not be felt equally by everyone. Women account for two thirds of public sector workers, are more likely to be in precarious or part-time employment, and earn over 16% less than men over their lifetimes. Black and ethnic minority women are further over-represented in low paid jobs: 40% of black and ethnic minority women live in poverty in the UK. Women and minorities are thus less likely to be able to pay back loans and are less likely to take 'risks' with their education. This is not the elitist future we want for young people in the UK.

Raising the price of education at the same time as freezing public sector salaries and slashing benefits reinforces gender inequality in other ways too. Who will bear the burden of reduced welfare provision? Who will care for those the state is abandoning? Who will be encouraged to go to university if tough decisions about paying fees have to be made by families already struggling to make ends meet? Already government spokespeople have made it clear that it is women who are expected to pick up the slack through unpaid labour and a reconstitution of the private sphere for the 21st Century.

For these reasons, and many more, Faculty and Support Staff at the Gender Institute support the LSE student occupation, NUS and UCU protests against raising fees and cutting public sector budgets.

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