This is not just about cuts but about the way the white paper targets cuts and gives new powers to private companies which will essentially lead to two tier system of education in the UK.
Birmingham City University is on the receiving end of the 9th highest cuts in government funding in the country. The massive cuts are 8 times higher than the cuts at elite institutions like University College London which is receiving minor cuts of only -0.8%, while for universities like the University of Oxford and Imperial University, government funding is actually being increased.
It is institutions that are the most accessible to those from low socioeconomic backgrounds that are being hit hardest. The universities being given the most cuts have high proportions of students from low socioeconomic groups studying in them. At BCU 44.7% of students come from low socioeconomic groups, while at the University of Oxford 11.4% of students come from low socioeconomic groups. Yet while money is ploughed into Oxford is it is taken out of BCU.
This is not about funding excellence; courses that BCU offer which are the best in country are being cut just the same. School of Media, rated fifth in the UK, is having its budget cut drastically and 30% of staff face redundancy this year. However despite the excellence it is being driven under by a government set on creating a maketised two tier education system.
Non-elite institutions like Birmingham City University are being set to fail by the government, so they can be sold off, bought out by private firms to run for profit, in much the same fashion that the NHS has been sold off under Labour and now the Conservatives.
There are sit ins and occupations taking place in most Universities in Birmingham and in nearby Coventry on 23rd November. Students will be coming out to support the strikes on the 30th. If you would like to get in touch with students to ask them how you can help them on the 23rd call or text 07988056867. On the day student occupiers may need support to protect them from campus authorities or simply messages of support, whatever you can offer is appreciated.
The 23rd is a national day of action, and there will be actions taken on many campuses around the UK. See the NCAFC website for more details on events around the UK
For more detail on the White paper, watch this short speech by Simon Furse, a student at the University of Birmingham: