On Tuesday 6th September it was agreed by the universities watchdog that universities, including Sussex, can raise their fees to £9,250 from 2017/18 onwards.
This is linked to the wider marketisation of universities that is planned under the Higher Education bill that aims to allow continued tuition fee increases for current and returning students through its’ Teaching Excellence Framework, TEF. There are many parts of the Higher Education Bill but it’s overall aim is to create a competitive, marketised ‘marketplace’ of universities where tuition fees can continue to rise in line and above inflation rates. The Students’ Union does not believe tuition fees should rise or that education and knowledge should or even can be bought at a defined price.
Through TEF the government plans to rate ‘excellent teaching’ at universities by using metrics such as the National Student Survey and graduate employment data. The Students’ Union does not believe that these metrics are an accurate way to measure teaching excellence and therefore oppose TEF on these grounds. With this system, if students rate their university well in the NSS survey, with TEF this will allow for universities to raise fees for new students. This will create a system whereby if you pay more, you supposedly receive a better quality education yet we all know that this doesn’t stand up, since fees tripled to £9,000 teaching has largely remained the same, only students are funding universities through their debt rather than the government funding universities.
The NSS metrics used “will not improve teaching, but only punish already under-resourced institutions or increase fees (and student debt) in universities that achieve a high score. It will trap students and staff in a lose-lose situation; either your university does well and it gets to raise fees or it does badly, receives less funding and risks being closed.” Malia Bouattia
As students we do not benefit from being viewed as consumers. Education is a process that requires the learner to take responsibility and interest in their own journey, and be allowed the agency and space to do this. We also believe that university education should be free and accessible to everyone, not a privilege that necessitates debt. Free and publicly funded education is something that has been voted for by both Sussex students and students nationwide (see Sussex Students’ Union’s Education not for sale policy and the National Union of Students’ (NUS) Free Education Policy).
We will be launching a campaign to inform students and staff of the dangers of the HE white paper and mobilising students to defend their education against the changes the government proposals. We will provide transport for students to the NUS Free and Liberated Education march taking place on 19th November.
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Mon 25 Feb 2019
Elected officers and representatives are elected by you to work within the University and Students' Union to make things better for Sussex students. This could be as part of formal committees, through informal meetings, working on relevant projects and campaigns, and working closely with other officers, members of staff and students.
Thu 14 Feb 2019
Ray Everall, Liam Dewan, Dorian Milburn and Nate Tomkings recently represented Sussex University students as delegates at the NUS Trans Conference 2019, which took place from 30 - 31 January in Manchester.
Fri 08 Feb 2019
Each month your full-time officers get together to look at what comments you have submitted to the Loop over the past month. These are categorised into what is going well, what is going less well, and ideas for improvement. This feedback is acted upon: specific comments are sent to the University to inform their service and to take action if necessary.
Thu 07 Feb 2019
Your elected Officers have been building on their work from last term, progressing their priorities and manifesto points. Here’s a summary of what each Officer has been up to!
Fri 14 Dec 2018
Nominate yourself for Full and Part-Time Officer roles, NUS Delegate and Student Trustee positions until 9am on the 11th of February!
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