Thousands of students are marching through the streets of central London today against the impact of government reforms to further and higher education.
Education should open doors, but the government is slamming them shut, both for today’s students and the next generation.
Youth unemployment is still almost 1 million. The scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) has limited access to further education. Higher fees are putting students off going to university. Student support is being funnelled into partial fee waivers rather than the cash bursaries that students prefer.
For those who do go to university, the cost of accommodation has doubled in a decade. Unpaid internships are becoming increasingly common for graduates. Postgraduate study is a social mobility time bomb.
The issues affecting students are too many to count, but politicians of all parties are failing to address them.
Here are some things you can do to support the students, families, lecturers and supporters marching today:
Join in our social media activity (less than 5 minutes)
Click here to sign up to our Thunderclap and get a tweet sent out at the same time as hundreds of other supporters. The tweet, containing #demo2012, will be sent at 6pm today and aims to create a huge social media splash with the potential for 500,000 people to see our message simultaneously.
Alongside this you can tweet or post on Facebook throughout the day. It would be good to see messages like “I’m supporting #demo2012 because…” or “Education helped me because….Support #demo2012”
Follow NUS on Twitter: @nusuk
‘Like’ NUS on Facebook: www.facebook.com/nationalunionofstudents
Send in your photos (5 minutes)
Are you taking part in different activity? Do you have an image that illustrates the importance of education? Or do you just want to send us a picture of you holding an ‘I support the demo’ poster? Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and then could be included in national coverage of the demonstration.
Call your local radio station (10 minutes)
Call to request a song in support of the demo. This could just be one of your favourite tunes or something inspirational for all the marchers in central London. This will get our message out to local communities and you will get to hear great music! If you make it on to local radio, be sure to let us know via Twitter or Facebook.
Write a blog or create a video blog (10-30 minutes)
Tell everyone about your thoughts on why education should be a priority for politicians. You could write a blog or an article for your students’ union website, your personal website or your own blog.
Link back to the demo website www.demo2012.org.uk in your blog and we will be able to track it and share your stories.
Tweet the link to your blog or video blog using the official #tag – #demo2012 and we will pick it up and be able to share it.
The basic gist of the above actions – make as much noise on the web as possible! The aim of this is to spread our messages to as many people as we can.
Don’t forget to follow @nusuk and the live blog on www.demo2012.org.uk for all the latest updates throughout the day.