Tag Archives: students

17 October 2019 – the overnight press release

Lib Dems: Brexit will limit the horizons of college students

The Association of Colleges has today published a survey revealing that 94% of colleges would be unable to fund student and staff mobility programmes outside of the EU’s Erasmus+ programme.

Responding to the figures, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran MP said:

Brexit shuts the door on students and staff studying, training and working across Europe. This survey shows that colleges simply can’t afford their student exchange programmes without the funding that the EU provides through Erasmus+.

Colleges are wary about replacing Erasmus+ with a British-led alternative because they know

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Cable calls out May on inflated estimates of overseas student numbers

For years the Tories told us overseas students were outstaying their welcome to the tune of 100,000. Thanks to border exit checks implemented at the insistence of the Liberal Democrats, those estimates have been proven to be not even on the same planet, let alone the same ball park. Only 4,600 students stayed after their studies were complete according to official Home Office figures.

Vince Cable said that the Tories should stop harping on about cracking down on foreign students.

This debacle happened on Theresa May’s watch at the Home Office. I spent five years in coalition battling her department’s bogus figures on this issue but she responded by erecting a wall of visa restrictions on an entirely false basis.

Cabinet Brexiteers fought a referendum campaign on a flawed prospectus, scapegoating foreign students who weren’t even here, and demonising EU citizens who are now leaving the country voluntarily.

No wonder the government has announced a review into the impact of foreign students because its economically disastrous policy was based on figures that were out by 96%.

As we argued repeatedly with Theresa May, overseas students bring huge economic benefits to universities and the broader economy. It makes no sense for students to be included in official immigration statistics.

Higher education is one of Britain’s most successful export industries, we must not let it be destroyed by the Conservatives’ short-sighted obsession with immigration targets based on spectacularly wrong data.

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Nick Clegg cheered by students

Six years ago, Nick Clegg was not the most popular politician amongst students. Now, things have changed as many young people find that he speaks for them as the Government hurtles towards a hard Brexit which will blight their future and opportunities. The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour watched him speak to a crowd of students last night:

In his Standard column this week, Nick described another student debate, in his Sheffield constituency, where he had a few words to say to the Labour MP on the panel:

I was on a platform with other politicians taking questions from a student audience. A local Labour MP was having the normal go at me about tuition fees. Fair enough — though I noticed he omitted to mention Labour’s own role in introducing tuition fees, and then trebling them on its own watch.

No, the moment Labour’s malaise really struck me was when this MP started speaking about the vote last week in the Commons on Article 50. He displayed none of the intelligence or humility of Keir Starmer, the shadow secretary for exiting the EU, who disarmingly confessed to the gathered MPs how difficult the issue is for Labour. Instead, in Sheffield this MP started to deliver a sanctimonious lecture to the Ukip and Conservative panellists, berating them for placing immigration above the economy in the Brexit talks.

I couldn’t contain myself. Irascibly, I interrupted his pro-European sermon to remind him that he’d just got off a train from London having voted with Douglas Carswell, Michael Gove, John Redwood and other zealous Brexiteers. How could he claim he was representing the interests of the youngsters in the audience having given his support to Theresa May’s uncompromisingly hard Brexit, yanking the UK out of the single market altogether?

I don’t believe that it would have been a betrayal of democracy if MPs had voted against the Government last week. All that would have happened, once the splenetic outrage of the Brexit-supporting press had passed, is that the Government would have been forced to come back to MPs with a more moderate, workable approach to Brexit which would then have received their support. MPs would not have blocked Brexit but they would have blocked hard Brexit. So it is pretty rich for Labour MPs to deliver pious homilies to other parties about the dangers of hard Brexit.

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Fresh Faces and Fresh Ideas: Join the Liberal Youth Freshers’ Fair Campaign

It’s that time of year to start thinking about Freshers’ fairs. The party’s new Youth and Student Development Officer, Vicky Nevin, told us about this year’s plans:

Freshers’ Fairs are a great way to engage new young members with the Liberal Democrats. The effort and enthusiasm young people can bring to the party is incredibly beneficial; they provide fresh ideas to old problems and spark energy into local campaigns.

Time is of the essence to begin preparations as deadlines for booking stalls at Universities/Colleges and their Students’ Unions are fast approaching. The date of Freshers’ Fairs differs from one institution to another, but they are usually held in late September. If you have a Lib Dem student society/group at your local HE/FE site, find out what they have planned, offer support and, if nothing is planned, try to encourage some activity. Contact details for Liberal Youth Societies are available here. If you do not have a Lib Dem student society/group, try to make contact with the Student Union and see if you can set something up. It will be a great shame if we miss this brilliant opportunity to recruit and motivate young people.

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Opinion: The impact of the Budget on students

 

George Gideon Osborne. Feared and distrusted by the left, the sensible and reasonable portions of his own party. And now he has given university students yet another reason to distrust him. In the Conservative majority budget issued on July 8 2015, the Chancellor introduced a barrage of attention-grabbing measures, many of which present disappointing news to youths – particularly university undergraduates.

The speculation that the first Tory budget since 1996 will be unforgiving for the young and the unemployed have, sadly, been realised. The National Living Wage (set to £7.20 by next April and £9 by 2020) is all very well for workers over 25, but will not apply to those under 25, who will still have to contend with a £6.50 minimum wage. This means that young people who have just left university will have to make their earnings stretch further to cover the rising cost of living that will result from a more robust economy, which will result from reduction in bank levies and cuts in corporation tax.

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Opinion: Why I believe students should vote for the Liberal Democrats

I have had a hustings with students at Edinburgh University and a meeting with the Edinburgh University Students’ Association. They have produced a manifesto and I will detail my response.

  1. They have asked for a phasing out of tuition fees and better support for the diverse needs of post graduate students. 

Obviously I couldn’t commit to the former,  But I would like to point out that raising tuition fees was a Conservative policy, one that the Lib Dems could not block!

As more coalitions are formed, I’m sure the British Public will recognise the limitations of individual manifestos as well as appreciate the opportunities for wider representation and trimming of the extremes of left and right. As for the latter, I have been personally affected and I did not do a postgraduate degree as I couldn’t afford to. Not just the fees but also the time off work in my 30s.

When we talk about high skilled jobs and a new economy we really need to also discuss how we are going to train our workforce and the skills development by means of post graduate study. We need to commit to investing in what will provide excellent returns, not just financial but also the advantage of having a highly educated population which I’m sure nobody will disagree with!

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Nick Clegg puts £10 million into encouraging students and young people to register to vote

So, when there’s a certain amount of money around to encourage voters to register, what does Nick Clegg do with it?

Does he put it into a voter registration drive in the affluent ex-pat communities of Spain or does he put it into that group of people it can be difficult to find, young people and students? The latter, of course.  From The Guardian:

Lib Dem sources said Clegg, whose Sheffield Hallam constituency contains a high number of students, was “determined to ensure that the government does everything it can to help students register to vote”.

One said: “Nick Clegg has now

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The Independent View: Looking at ways to help student entrepreneurs

The slogan ‘Stronger Economy, Fairer Society’ is only as strong as the policies that support it.

We, at the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), are pleased that the Liberal Democrats, in partnership with the Conservatives, have introduced a series of measures to put meat on the bones of this catchphrase.

Vince Cable’s Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) department has been busy beavering away on initiatives that help small businesses, including young entrepreneur start-ups. Young people like Arnold du Toit, who is worth £8 million in his mid-twenties after inventing a motorised golf trolley, and Jamal Edwards, whose YouTube videos progressed to a TV channel, show the kind of innovation Britain needs more of.

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Aber Uni Lib Dems: Football, Cakes and Glee Club Songbooks

You don’t often see politicians redirecting their gaze at election time. However, the Aberystwyth University Liberal Democrats spent the early days of May raising money and awareness for a disease that is renowned for afflicting young people, many of which are students.

What the AULD had planned was to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC) through cross-party football, selling cakes on an industrial scale and using social media to promote their cause. It’s fair to say, we could not have expected such a successful campaign, let alone such a whirlwind of support from students and University staff.

It all …

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Opinion: A letter from students to Lib Dem MPs

LDV has had sight of this letter, written by a group on facebook, and sent to Lib Dem MPs.

Dear Liberal Democrat MPs,

We, the undersigned students, recognise the benefits of tuition fee reform and urge you to vote for it.

We see that our annual loan repayments will fall due to the substantial rise in the loan repayment threshold, and that the grants system will become more generous. We see that part-time students will no longer be forced to pay up-front fees and that poorer graduates will benefit from a rise in the repayment threshold.

We feel that the NUS, by spreading …

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Willis challenges Mandelson over student places funding squeeze

The Telegraph reports:

Students are facing a desperate scramble to get into university amid warnings of a further squeeze on places. … On Wednesday night, Phil Willis, the committee’s Liberal Democrat chairman, wrote to Lord Mandelson to ask how he would meet the huge demand for higher education triggered by the recession. It represents Lord Mandelson’s first test since taking over the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in the Cabinet reshuffle.

Student leaders have already warned of looming chaos as thousands of teenagers leave school and college without university places or employment. By April this year, almost 525,000

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    James Pugh - but he is very charismatic, more than Kennedy, Clegg and Swinson combined (Clegg and Kennedy at their peak never managed to create...
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    ps George, unless of course you mistake me for another, I think you may, as adding this, I have on no posting ever said the...
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    matt - my arguments were made some time ago on here.
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