Labour can afford to be radical on higher education

More than three quarters of higher education experts do not believe the current loans system to be sustainable, according to research published in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

Within five or ten years there will be yet another significant change in the HE funding model and it is very important that we plan now to ensure that Labour is on the right side of that debate and has the correct policies in a future Labour government. Continue reading

‘We’re All In This Together’

2011 was the year the phoney war ended or – as the kids say these days, so I’m told – shit got real. When queues of anxious customers demanding their money suddenly formed outside Northern Rock over four years ago, it seemed like a slightly surreal – but one-off – disruption to normality, like an eerie re-enactment of a scene from Depression-era United States. As the entire global financial system faced total meltdown a year later, a sense of normality was mostly still preserved thanks to taxpayer bailouts and multi-billion fiscal stimuli. But more than one commentator conjured up the image of the global economy as a cartoon character who runs off a cliff, legs still flapping, suspended in mid-air as the scale of the fall sinks in. This year, the tumble began. Continue reading

NUS President election: Interview with Mark Bergfeld

Following Aaron Porter’s announcement that he is stepping down when he has completed his term in office, the race is on for the next President of the National Union of Students. With the student movement more high-profile than ever, the contest is significant for students and non-students alike.

There are three candidates standing: Mark Bergfeld, Liam Burns and Shane Chowen. In the last of three interviews, I interview Mark Bergfeld, member of the NUS National Executive and spokesperson of theEducation Activist Network. Mark tweets as @mdbergfeld. Continue reading

NUS President election: Interview with Shane Chowen

Following Aaron Porter’s announcement that he is stepping down when he has completed his term in office, the race is on for the next President of the National Union of Students. With the student movement more high-profile than ever, the contest is significant for students and non-students alike.

There are three candidates standing: Mark Bergfeld, Liam Burns and Shane Chowen. In the second of three interviews, I interview Shane Chowen, Vice President (Further Education) of the NUS. Shane tweets as @shanechowen. Continue reading

NUS President election: Interview with Liam Burns

Following Aaron Porter’s announcement that he is stepping down when he has completed his term in office, the race is on for the next President of the National Union of Students. With the student movement more high-profile than ever, the contest is significant for students and non-students alike.

There are three candidates standing: Mark Bergfeld, Liam Burns and Shane Chowen. In the first of three interviews, I interview Liam Burns, current President of NUS Scotland. Liam tweets as @nus_liam. Continue reading