Adnan's Blog: MP support for Cancel Debt not Futures campaign

Wednesday 13-05-2020 - 09:52
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Students this year have had a rocky year to say the least, with disruption which has occurred due to industrial action and the cancellation of face-to-face teaching in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Various student petitions have been circulated, covering your concerns on everything from tuition fees to financial support – and so the National Union of Students (NUS) created a survey with the intention of supporting students in the wake of this disruptive academic year. 

From the survey results, we found that 71% of students at the University of Liverpool were worried about their finances. With these stats in mind, on 24 April,  I and my fellow Presidents at John Moores and Hope Students’ Union wrote to our MPs in Liverpool to ask for their endorsement in our joint campaign ‘Cancel Debt not Futures.’ Our four key points were:

  • To cancel student debt for the current academic year & put in place specific measures to mitigate financial worry for our International students who may be more adversely impacted. We cannot have students being burdened with paying for a year that was not completed, it would be better to cancel debt and compensate our international students. 
  • A package of financial support must be available for ALL students, NUS have called on our government to introduce a £60 million hardship fund to be set up so we can help mitigate some financial worries to students’ lives. 
  • Maintenance grants need to be reintroduced. Students need money in their pockets to access higher education whether that be  for paying rent, paying fees or accessing their course. 
  • Opportunities for employment need to be created, as we are likely to face a financial recession, we need to create both hope and possibilities for students, so they can help our society to return back to normal in the near future.

These points echo the national NUS ‘Student Safety Net’ campaign which you can find out more about here. 

 

 

On the back of this letter, we are pleased to tell you that Paula Barker (MP Wavertree), Kim Johnson (MP Riverside) and Ian Byrne (MP West Derby)  have thrown their weight behind the campaign and have written a letter to the Secretary of State for Education in support of it, reiterating the need to Cancel our Debts and not our futures. You can find their response here.


This is a positive step forward in the campaign, and we are hopeful that this extra level of support will encourage Government to take students’ concerns into more serious consideration. 

We will keep you up to date on the next steps, but for now, things are moving in the right direction – we will do everything we can put student concerns on the map and make sure you are heard.

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