No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

National demo on 10 November

On 10 November the National Union of Students and the Union of College and Universities have called a national demonstration against the cuts in public spending in education in London.

We invite all students, and particularly postgraduate, to JOIN THE PROTEST!

King's College Students explain you why!

More info at:

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Time for action!

Wednesday the 20th, University of London Union, Malet Street, 4pm JOIN US FOR THE FIRST DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE CUTS!

We will bring flyers, t-shirts, peaceful protest and... fun!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Our (first) three open questions on Lord Browne's report (send us your questions to add!)

1) What kind of qualifications or merits has Lord Baron Browne of Madingley to carry out an allegedly “independent” review of the university tuition fees system?
We acknowledge that someone who:
a) was the Chief Executive of BP;
b) had never spent one day of his professional life dealing with educational issues before;
c) earned about 5 million pounds a year;
is the most appropriate person to understand the problems faced by girls and boys coming from “ethnic minorities” and working-class background who want to enter universities with 10,000-pound-a-year fees

2) What criteria will implement Lord Browne (or whoever else) to decide what courses "are important to the wellbeing of our society and to our economy” and then have to be publicly funded?
We assume that the priority will be to fund courses
a) explaining how to make the bankers of the City of London pay back those 800 billion pounds that the government gave them in 2008;
b) teaching the managers of BP how to prevent accidents such as the Texas City refinery explosion (2005) or the Deeper Water explosion (2010).

3) How is possible that in continental Europe university fees are much lower than in England (and that in some parts of Germany, for example in Berlin, students pay no fees at all)?
Why are people in England much more class-aware than in continental Europe?
Is there any linkage between the two phenomena?
We recognize that Lord Browne’s review would bring about the marvelous result of reinforcing once more the prestigious “old school ties” of the English aristocracy, preventing the coarse mob of the working-class suburbs from mingling with it.

Monday, 11 October 2010

20 October: unite against the cuts!

first event to take part in: students' protest against the cuts, on 20 October at 4pm! Meeting point at the Univeristy of London Union, Malet Street. You cannot miss it! :-)

Together with the Coalition of Resistance!

If we unite, we can make a difference! (opening statement)

You are a PhD student, or you have recently become a Dr., and you would like to carry on with your research activity in your field of expertise. Is it maybe just a dream?

Well, you are probably aware that gloomy times are ahead. The budget which is going to be unveiled by George Osborne on 20 October will foresee cuts in the public spending for education of at least 25%. This will massively affect you both as a student, and as a researcher. Your chance of getting a post-doc, or a job as a lecturer, will shrink dramatically. Sad, but true. But do not despair: you are NOT ALONE.

There are several thousands of us spread across the whole country. As PhD students working in different fields, it can be difficult to get to know each other. But we are all experiencing the same condition of uncertainty, if not dejection. Things might look depressing indeed, but there is a way to change them. This way is to say, to shout together, collectively, that WE DO NOT AGREE with these cuts.

The cuts are not “inevitable”, as the government and the media want you to believe. The overall cost of bank bailouts between 2008 and 2009 was of about 850bn pounds: public money which has been injected in private banks. (1)According to some sources, next year British banks might ask for another bailout worth up to 156bn. pounds.(2)The OVERALL yearly budget for higher education in the United Kingdom in 2010 was 7.4bn pounds. This is to say, LESS THAN ONE PERCENT of the money that the government has paid to PRIVATE banks to solve the crisis of 2008-2009. (3)

Any further doubt about how unfair these cuts are?

There is something we can do about this. We can, must and need to SAY NO to the cuts. And we have to do it together with all the other groups which will be hit most by the cuts – women, ethnic minorities, disabled people, workers in the public administration, undergraduate students. The more of us will express their dissent, the more effective our protest will be.

We reject the logic which sets education against health care; science against humanities; intellectuals against the working class. The real choice is between a fair and safe society, which values culture, solidarity and variety, and a greedy and unsafe world, in which no real space for free education and research is given.

We are for more public spending in research, tuition-free universities, freedom of thought and research, public welfare and more social fairness.


To this aim, we have set up this group. We will post regularly news on the local and national mobilization against the cuts. We will focus specifically on higher education, as part of a broader attack on public welfare.

Please, join us, and ask other PhDs and Drs. to join! We need ALL OF YOU! And do not forget:

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself." John Dewey