The National Union of Students has shown support for a suggested route for a demonstration against government plans to cut the maintenance grant, which will take effect as of the 2016/17 academic year.
Demonstrators will assemble in Malet Street, London and march through the centre of the city towards the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the headquarters for government education.
The protest has been called for by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), who have refuted plans by the Chancellor George Osbourne to abandon the maintenance grant because it was deemed “unaffordable”.
“It is really important for [our poorest students] to have money in their pockets they know they are entitled to”
NCAFC will respond to the decision by firstly calling for what they define as the non-means-tested living grant on the march.
This initiative would mean all students receive non-repayable grants and a free, funded education.
Megan Dunn, President of NUS, said: “For our poorest students every day is a struggle. It is really important for them to have money in their pockets they know they are entitled to, and won’t have to pay back”.
“I think the protest is a worthy cause and shows how unfair these changes are”
Second year Politics student Beth Poole told Impact: “I think the protest is a worthy cause, and shows how unfair these changes are. It should hopefully highlight the inequality of the policy”.
Josh Ogunmokun, an Industrial Economics student, also said: “I believe this decision will have a negative effect on income inequality, as poorer students may struggle to pay for essentials on their maintenance loan alone”.
He added: “This may force them to take up part time work which may have a negative impact on studies as the students will have less time for studying”.
It is not the first occasion where tensions between government and student bodies have cultivated protest. Demonstrations in 2010 campaigning against the £9,000 raise of tuition fees galvanised an estimated 50,000 protesters in London.
Image: Francisco Osorlo via Flickr