On Saturday the 19th of November, I joined students and lecturers to march as part of ‘GoldBloc’ at the National Demonstration for Education, a protest organized by both the National Union of Students and The University and the Colleges Union. The demonstration was held largely in response to the proposal of the Higher Education and Research Bill, a controversial piece of legislation devised by the Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson who is turning out to be as despised by students as his brother, Boris. Most prominently, the Higher Education and Research Bill, commonly referred to as the HE Bill, proposes the creation of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) which allows universities to establish the quality of their institutions and raise their fees accordingly.
Goldsmiths have already voted to raise tuition fees to £9,250 per year for students starting in 2017 if the bill is fully approved. The threat of even higher tuition fees for upcoming students and the government’s increasing attempts to marketize and privatize the education system sparked the higher than usual turnout at the march, which was the biggest student demonstration since 2010 when the government tripled fees to £9,000.
We gathered at