BCU Budget Cut Protest
There was a low turnout for a protest against the cuts that Birmingham City University will be facing. Only a handful of students, a few lecturers and some TUC members turned up for this protest at the Perry Barr campus. Flyers were handed out, petitions signed and points put across through a loudspeaker, but the protest will have to go down as a relative failure due to the lack of interest. The timing of the event didn't help, 12:30, when most students and lecturers were still in class, but most of the passing students we spoke to blamed a lack of knowledge and publicity.
The students that were there though did have strong opinions to express;
Karen, an English student at BCU, felt that the students and the university shouldn't have to pay for a crisis that they didn't cause. She said that the rising tuition fees and the cuts would not affect her but would affect her sister who would probably now be deterred from going to university. Karen also raised the point that the politicians implementing the fees and cuts enjoyed a free education when they attended University.
Nick Harte, Music and Technology student at BCU, helped organise the protest. He told us that the government was planning to cut funds to Birmingham City University by 80%. He said his course was already feeling the repercussion of cuts as he had seen a lecturer let go and no new equipment come in. He felt that the high fees would put off a lot of potential students and that the managers of the universities should make a stand against the politicians and refuse to accept the cuts. He also urged people to attend the TUC national demonstration which will be taking place in London on Saturday the 26th March.
Sociology and Politics student, Aiden had traveled from nearby Aston University to lend his support. He called the cuts across education and the council 'disgusting'. Aiden felt that £7 billion could be saved from bankers bonuses and £25 billion could be saved with a crackdown on corporate tax avoidance.
12:00 and the protest begins.
TUC representative Mr Richardson helps set up.
'Birmingham Against The Cuts' flyers are handed out.
Media and Communications student Kate James signs the petition.
Stop the cuts!
Further protests are planned:
The 'Birmingham Against The Cuts' rally Tuesday 1st March from 2pm outside Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square.
TUC National Demonstration. Saturday 26th March, London. Coaches available from Birmingham - contact 'Birmingham Against the Cuts' or your union for details of transport.