Workshop Summaries

1st Session- 1150-1250

==Arguing against cuts==

Rachel Archer looks at the enormous scale and the supposed reasons for the huge assault on further and higher education across the UK. Starting with the global credit crunch, she will look at the trillions spent on failing banks and the truth surrounding the ‘fiscal crisis’, spurring plans by Peter Mandelson to cut uni courses to two years, and the mysterious ‘Browne Review’ into higher education led by the ex-boss of British Petroleum.

==The Bologna process and the International student movement==

The attacks on education in Britain are part of a wider series of attacks occurring across Europe. These are being driven by the Bologna process, the EU policy to introduce a market into education in Europe. This has sparked massive resistance across the continent by students and staff which has been an inspiration to many people struggling in Britain. To discuss the Bologna process and what we can learn from the student movements on the continent we
have Roman Birke, a participant and organiser of the Austrian university occupations last year. Chaired by John Bowden

==Coordination workshop for school and FE students==

We will discuss the issues affecting us – Education Maintenance Allowance, discipline, representation and others – and what needs to change and how. The workshop will also be a chance to share experiences on the possibilities and limitations of organising within schools and colleges. As part of this, Alice Belcher, who helped organise the ‘Keep it Park’ student campaign against the proposed merger of Park College in Sussex, will speak about her experiences – the tactics they used, the challenges they faced, the issues at stake.

==NUS and Student Unions==

Daniel Randall, an NUS Trustee, and formerly on the NUS NEC, facilitates a workshop on the opaque world of “official structures.” The recent wave of campaigns against cuts has exposed the best and worst in Britain’s student unions; some have used their organisational and financial resources to support anti-cuts campaigners, and some have effectively supported cuts. At a national level, anyone who’s ever had anything to do with the NUS will know that it’s not as responsive as we might like.

Do we even need unions? Couldn’t we just rely on the grassroots activist networks we form ourselves? Or can we fight for unions that are genuinely open, democratic and fighting organisations controlled by their members? Can NUS be reformed, or should unions that want to fight organise independently of NUS?

==The Role of Liberation Campaigns==

Regional Session- 1.40pm-2.40pm

Solidarity, communication and coordinated struggle on a regional level is vital in order to defend individual institutions facing cuts and make our movement as representative as possible. The North, the South and London regions have already developed regular open meetings, and there is space for other regions to hold their own caucuses in this time, with the aim of developing proposals for the final session.

Also:

==Coordination workshop for school and FE students==

We will discuss the issues affecting us – Education Maintenance Allowance, discipline, representation and others – and what needs to change and how. The workshop will also be a chance to share experiences on the possibilities and limitations of organising within schools and colleges. As part of this, Alice Belcher, who helped organise the ‘Keep it Park’ student campaign against the proposed merger of Park College in Sussex, will speak about her experiences – the tactics they used, the challenges they faced, the issues at stake.

Workshop Session 2- 2.50-3.50pm

==What sort of Education do we want?==

This workshop will be a chance for participants to look beyond the current attack on our university system and discuss and develop what our own vision of HE looks like with reference to the purpose, demographics, funding and content of our degrees. We will then discuss ways to turn this into a reality- teach-ins, Free Schools, involving our peers, working with FE students – the possibilities for action are limitless. Bring you plans!

== Occupation is a right! ==

The success of any form of direct action is based on motivation, stubbornness and know-how. Nothing compares to the real life experience, but a few tips beforehand can often make a difference. “Occupation is a Right” will run as a “skill sharing” session on occupations and grassroots activism, counting with guest speakers from Justice for SOAS Cleaners occupation and Byam Shaw People’s University movement. If you would like to share your practical knowledge or learn a few handy tricks on sit-ins and occupations, come along!

== Welfare Cuts and how to fight them ==

== Working with Trade Unions on and off campus==

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