We, the undersigned members of staff at SOAS, wish to express our strong support for SOAS students’ peaceful direct action against the planned cuts to the higher education budget, increases in tuition fees and the abolition of EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance). These policies, together with proposals that effectively limit the number of overseas students, are highly damaging to the future of higher education in the UK. They will contribute to already rampant social and economic inequalities and undermine prospects for a more favourable response to the current economic, and potentially social, crisis. Instead of this destructive agenda, a growing, more egalitarian and internationally open higher education sector should be an absolute priority. Not only can this be financed, but dedicated public investment into higher education is central to an enlightened and far-sighted response to the current economic crisis.
We urge the School to support our students’ protests, and the SOAS Director and Vice-Chancellor of the University of London to express stringent and unequivocal opposition to the current government’s plans for higher education.
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