Socialist Worker

Students fighting for a better world

by Rob Owen, NUS nec (pc)
Issue No. 2134a

The wave of student occupations has raised important questions such as why we have so little control over our universities and how we can make democratic decisions over our education.

These questions have been asked by every generation of students since 1968 – and many of the answers remain the same.

Under capitalism, universities gather thousands of young people together to think and learn about the world around us.

But the limits about what, why and how we learn are set by the needs of the system.

Every course, whether history, science or art, is organised around delivering a set of skills required to be a good employee in the “new economy”.


To meet this aim on a decreasing budget, everything in university is carefully managed.

Lecture space is rented out, top researchers focus on profitable areas and our access to facilities is limited by what is cost effective.

Whether we are campaigning over war, environmental destruction or racism, our universities and education could be a powerful weapon in the fight for a better world.

There is a chance for all campaigners to come together in the demonstration on 25 February to show that another education is possible.

We need a movement that can challenge the market – and make our universities a democratic space committed to learning and overcoming injustice around the world.

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