Oxford MailThe ISSUE: Will the students' protest camp prove successful? (From Oxford Mail)

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The ISSUE: Will the students' protest camp prove successful?

Oxford Mail: Toby Falcus Toby Falcus

NO...

says Toby Falcus, a student at Oxford Brookes University In my opinion, the protest at Oxford Brookes will not be a success.

And let me tell you why, although they are protesting for a valiant cause, and, in all honesty, if I could be there protesting with them, I would.

Yet, the underlying factor remains – and that is the fact that it won’t change anything.

Let’s face it, when Students protested last year, there were no major effects and, as far as I am aware, there is only a minor protest occurring at Oxford Brookes.

For any significant changes to occur, it needs to be done as a larger collected group, not just a group of 30 or so individuals standing outside Oxford Brookes University.

I commend them for what they are doing, but at the same time, I just feel in six months’ time it will have become a forgotten event and the fees will still remain the same.

Although nothing physically will change, it is still important for protests like this to be made, as we are privileged to live in a democratic society where our opinions can be heard freely.

In this difficult economic time, everyone is struggling and cuts have been made across the board, but I believe students do have the right to protest, because education is such an important commodity for the future of the country.

YES...

says Subi Wahogo of the Occupy Brookes movement The Occupy Brookes movement has to succeed, as we are already feeling the effects of the Government’s pernicious attacks on higher education.

The effect of the three-fold rise in tuition fees has already led to a 12 per cent drop in the number of domestic applications across the UK, and acts as a further deterrent to low-income families (which before the hike in fees made up only seven per cent of all students).

The Government is promoting fee waivers as the solution, but they do not provide the financial help students need to support the cost of living at the time.

Most students will not benefit from fee waivers at all unless they go on to earn more than £35,000 a year.

Otherwise, the debt will be written off before the reduction makes any difference.

Ultimately our success or failure will rest on the senior management at Oxford Brookes University being true to their word and making this a truly student-centred university.

Research by money expert Martin Lewis and the National Union of Students has clearly demonstrated that bursaries are the most effective way to help students.

If the university takes its responsibility to students seriously then there is no other viable option.

So far they have been accommodating and supportive of our right to protest, and we are now hoping that they will take that a step further and commit to acting on the interests of the students of this university, rather than the Government.

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