Occupy Warwick: A space for open debate on free education

by mattmcneany

As of 1pm Wednesday 23rd of November Warwick University students, inspired by the actions of others around the world and around the UK have decided to create a space where everyone can come to freely exchange ideas of free education as a universal social good. We further aim to offer a forum for further debate of issues social justice.

We want to welcome everyone to our camp whatever your opinions and hope that we can reach out beyond the borders of our campus to spread the idea of free education at the point of use as both a social good and economically viable.

We have occupied:

•  To express our solidarity with those all around the world who are also in occupation especially those facing violent repression from the state.
•  To supply a space where we can promote the ideals and ideas of free education, not just for ourselves but for everyone who wants it.
•  To express our solidarity with public sector workers on strike on November 30th.

We call on the Vice-Chancellor Nigel Thrift…

1.  To publicly condemn the White Paper and call for it to be withdrawn, condemn the increasing marketisation of education, and back the Alternative White Paper.
2.  To guarantee no course closures.
3.  To guarantee no job cuts and no adverse changes to academic and non-academic staff terms and conditions.
4.  To provide bursaries for all international, home and EU students who need them – not fee waivers.
5.  To guarantee no cuts to library, student support or learning resources.
6.  To guarantee no cuts to access schemes or foundation courses.
7.  To guarantee that the university will remain public, and a not-for-profit body.
8.  To guarantee that no student or member of staff suffer repercussions for their participation in this peaceful movement, and to condemn the University of Birmingham administration for violating its students’ rights to express their views.

We additionally demand that the Vice-Chancellor comes to speak to students in a public setting, at the camp of Occupy Warwick, to justify his decision concerning whether or not he will sign this pledge.