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    May 1968 saw the largest student uprising ever seen, the combined direct action of students and trade unions brought the government of de Gaulle to its knees.

    Today in the UK, students are facing a crisis. With a review of fees taking place which could see them rise, and a furthering of the process of marketisation of education, NUS has released a funding blueprint which they say can break the consensus on education. However this blueprint furthers the consensus of the main parties. After the governence review, NUS lost any claim to be a democratic fighting union that represents students. This Blueprint follows the same market ideology as the main UK political parties. It is obvious now, that NUS is not fit for purpose.

    Wes Streeting (president of NUS) says that the fight against fees has been lost, and that all we can do now is limit how far they rise, or to propose an alternative. However the NUS alternative is essentially the same as if a variable fees system were to be introduced (which is what most university chancellors are calling for.) The defeatist attitude of NUS has been present from the moment fees were introduced. If we had an Active fighting union, it is possible that we would not be facing this today.

    The fight against fees, the fight for free education is winnable. What NUS have failed to do is mobilise more than just university students. The attack on university education is only the most obvious blow, in a concious and sustained attack on education in this country all the way down to primary level.

    With combined action by students, teaching unions, and community organisations, it is possible to create a new consensus, a consensus that says education is a right not a privalege. Education should be a service run for public good not private profit.

    In the academic year 09/10 student activists accross the country will be fighting for the future of our education. The example of 1968 should show us what we can achieve by our collective action.
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    The NUS has turned into a joke, and a mouthpiece for the government of the time.

    I agree with you, strong action is needed to represent student concerns.
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    Absolutely. I would urge people not to waste any opportunities which come up to vocalise your views and press for change. Apathy is a really damaging attitude to take (the recent BNP success is strongly linked to poor turnouts at elections) and it really doesn't take very much effort to pay attention and go along to any relevant demonstrations or peaceful student protests going on at your institution, or sign up to relevant mailing lists that come your way for petitions and suchlike. I'm not talking about hauling up paving stones and chucking them about :p: Just exercising your democratic rights. Being pessimistic only leads to widespread inactivity resulting in the cause for pessimism. Conversely nobody has anything to lose by responding to opportunities and forming opinions about policies that impact them.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    The NUS has turned into a joke, and a mouthpiece for the government of the time.
    it sure looks like that. I looked at the candidates for the SU of the uni im going to, and the sort of things they were campaigning on looked completely irrelevant and out-of-touch to what concerns the majority student body has.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    The NUS has turned into a joke, and a mouthpiece for the government of the time.
    I agree. I saw a quote the other week in which the NUS lauded better A level grades as a symptom of how much better-educated and capable today's generation is - it should be concerned with identifying the true state of play and raising standards, not pandering to the government.
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    Well with NUS controlled by a right wing faction like labour students, their not going to question the government or the status quo...
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    I agree, the student voice does need to be heard as generally those in higher education are frequently not heard.
    I would say that unlike 1968, there is unlikely to be mass attention drawn to the movement. Whilst an uprising today would mainly centre around academic and financial problems felt by students the campaigns in 1968 were alot more socially shocking and drew in more attention from the public because of this.

    I don't think you could expect the population to be drawn in to something they see as irrelevent I think the only thing that could make this happen is by using shock tactics. Also '68 as a movement covered too broad a spectrum I think we would need to maximise on the key points rather than just make it out as a general rant.
 
 
 
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