Sheffield students meet outside Department for Education to protest against 'classist' government changes

Students in Sheffield gathered outside the Department for Education on Tuesday to protest against proposed changes to student finance.

Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 4:39 pm

The British Government are proposing changes to higher education which will affect students across all of the UK.

The proposed changes, led by a consultation, include a lowering of the amount of money graduates earn before they begin paying back their student loans to £25,000 per year from the current £27,295. This would also include increasing how long students must pay back their loans from 30 years to 40 years.

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Students to protest ‘classist’ changes outside Sheffield Department for Educatio...

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Students demonstrate outside Sheffield Department for Education after 'classist' Government changes.

Along with these changes to student finance, the Government wish to block students from obtaining a student loan if they failed to achieve a minimum C grade in both Maths and English at GCSE level or two E grades at A-Level.

These proposed changes by the government have had a strong response from students up and down the country, with many angry at the ‘classist’ and ‘marketising’ change to higher-level education.

Following the Government consultation, students in Sheffield gathered on Tuesday outside the Department for Education to protest against these changes.

Steven, from the Sheffield Solidarity Group, said: “We are here today protesting against the Government’s consultation in response to the Augar reports.

"The Government have announced a consultation into student finance and access to education which is basically an attack on opportunity. They are looking to increase repayments, decrease access to finance.

"The NUS have launched a campaign judging that the Government has failed on its levelling up agenda.”

Larissa Kennedy, National Union of Students UK president, said: “The Government’s changes to student loans are calculated cruelness. These changes will save the highest earners £20,000, whilst new graduates on lower and middle incomes tens of thousands of pounds will pay back thousands more over the course of their careers.

“At a time where the cost of living is soaring and real earnings are crashing, for the more vulnerable, these classist changes could be the difference between heating and eating. The minister is saddling young people with unimaginable debt for the next forty years of their lives."

These protests against the changes will take place at Department for Educations around the UK.

The consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/higher-education-policy-statement-and-reform