England, Wales and Scotland section of International Socialist Alternative

Four reasons why you should join Student Socialist Alternative!

Are you going to uni or college this year? Here are four reasons why you should join Student Socialist Alternative!

Capitalism is destroying our education. We need to take it back!

At every corner of our lives, students are being exploited. If we are not in overpriced, often rat-infested accommodation, we are working extra hours for a poor minimum wage, while cramming in time for courses which will saddle us with debt for decades. All this, while the uni managers, landlords and bosses make their profits off our backs. It is no wonder that working-class students dropping out of their courses is at an all-time high.

For the average student in England and Wales, fees now sit at £27,750 and go anywhere up to £114,000 for international students. Disgracefully, the government has recently announced plans to hike up the years students will be expected to pay back skyrocketing debts – from 30 to 40, while lowering the repayment threshold from £28k to £25k. Meanwhile, disgracefully, Labour has abandoned its commitment to scrap tuition fees – something that students everywhere desperately need.

The Tories have recently declared war against so-called ‘rip-off degrees’ – a codeword for further cuts to jobs and courses. They wish to cap the number of students taking courses they deem ‘low-value’ (ie unprofitable). This will amount to blocking access of working-class students to humanities courses that the government would like to be available only to the select minority. We say that free, comprehensive education is a right for all, not a privilege for a tiny few!

Already many students and university workers realise this, and struggles to fight back are beginning to take place. Staff at the University of Brighton, striking against redundancies and job cuts, were joined by students at their graduation ceremonies, who wore sashes reading ‘hands off our tutors’, and chanted ‘no cuts! Pay your staff!’

While the managers, government and Tory media seek to demonise workers in Higher Education and blame them for students graduating without grades, students across England, Wales and Scotland staged similar actions in inspiring shows of student-worker unity and solidarity. The action of university workers and their union, UCU, must now actively link with student organisations. Students’ Unions must pass motions in solidarity with staff and mobilise students to their picket lines in the new year. There is a real opportunity to form a joint fightback where students themselves are campaigning against the cost-of-living crisis. In some areas such as Manchester, student rent strike groups have been organising to demand an end to extortionate rents, and against attacks on students democratic rights.

Student Socialist Alternative calls for building a joint, democratically run, bottom-up student-worker solidarity movement, which can link up the fightback and organise around our demands, to drive the market out of education and make it accessible for all!

We are organising protests against misogyny and transphobia

An estimated 8 in 10 students report feeling unsafe walking home at night. Meanwhile, the right-wing Tories have attacked our universities, colleges and schools with their backwards, ‘anti-woke’ agenda in an effort to silence and push trans and gender non-conforming students back into the closet.

How do we fight this right-wing backlash on and off campus? With socialist feminism!

This Autumn, SSA, as well as Socialist Feminist Alternative will be approaching feminist and other campaigning groups, trade unions and many others to form coalitions for holding protests on 25 November – the international day against gender violence.

We are organised internationally!

Every student can play their role on campus, but we are also not alone. SSA is linked with International Socialist Alternative – a global, fighting organisation of workers, students, youth, and all those oppressed by the capitalist system.

Alternativa Socialista (ISA in Mexico) has fought alongside others for an end to gender violence on campus. In the US, we have played a central role in the struggle to unionise Amazon and make billionaires like Bezos pay.

In China, we are fighting to organise a mass revolutionary movement against the capitalist dictatorship, and for an end to the authoritarian, racist and sexist regime. In Brazil, Canada, Sweden and elsewhere, we have been at the forefront of campaigns against deforestation and for protection of indigenous land from greedy corporations. This is only a glimpse of the fights we take part in worldwide!

This system is endless crisis. Socialism is the only way forward!

In 1915, the German Marxist revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg looked at the world we live in. World war was brewing, and poverty and exploitation were rife. Famously, she gave society a choice when she said, ‘In this hour, socialism is the only salvation for humanity. Socialism or barbarism!’ Over a century has passed and this is more true than ever.

This is a barbaric system if there ever was one. Wildfires are devastating huge swathes of our planet. Capitalists allow sewage to be pumped onto our beaches. While we face record-high temperatures and the climate crisis ramps up, fossil fuel profits and investments have increased in the last year! Linked to this is the drive for influence, power and profits from the capitalist imperialist powers who compete, wage wars and threaten further destruction to people and planet, all in the name of exploitating the oppressed and poor majority worldwide. All these things have the same root: capitalism. And it has to go!

Student Socialist Alternative will be active, campaigning and fighting back on the campus across England, Wales and Scotland this coming year. While we fight for every single gain we can in the here and now, we need to overthrow the system altogether and for something fundamentally different.

Socialism would mean working-class people, unions, students, tenants and feminist organisations uniting to take over society and the economy from the super-rich. By bringing into democratic public ownership the student housing companies, our education, along with the banks and major corporations which control our economy, we would be able to run society in a way which uses the massive wealth that exists to benefit the overwhelming majority worldwide, instead of the capitalists. This is all possible, but only if we fight for it!


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