National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts
|Focus||Tuition Fees, Higher Education, Further Education, Free Education|
|Method||Civil disobedience, Demonstration, Direct action, Occupations, Research|
The National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts or NCAFC is a membership-based organisation of activist students and education workers campaigning against tuition fees, education cuts and privatisation in the United Kingdom.
The organisation was founded at a convention at University College London in February 2010 on a platform of campaigning for "free, fair and funded public education for all", paid for through the taxation of the rich and big business.
The organisation played a role in the 2010 UK student protests, calling several days of action following the National Union of Students organised demonstration on 10 November. It was estimated that up to 130,000 students took part in the 24 November 2010 day of action across the UK.
In 2011 NCAFC organised a march through central London, supported by the National Union of Students and the University and College Union, in opposition to the government's Higher Education White Paper. As many as 15,000 students took part, with the Metropolitan Police pre-authorising the use of plastic bullets in the light of the violence after the previous year's protest against student fees. BBC reporter Mike Sergeant described the policing on the day as "quite extraordinary... It's the most tightly controlled march through London that I have ever seen". The government later withdrew the HE Bill.
In 2014, NCAFC organised another major national demonstration for free education, this time in collaboration with the Student Assembly Against Austerity and the Young Greens. Organisers claimed that the demonstration saw 10,000 students march and that the event was the largest mobilisation of students in Britain since 2010. Following the demonstration, NCAFC organised two separate nationwide days of action for free education, on December 3, 2014 and January 31st 2015. The first gained wide publicity after accusations of police violence at a student occupation at the University of Warwick and the second saw students marching in Brighton, Sheffield and Norwich among other cities.
These marches were followed by a demonstration co-ordinated by NCAFC at the Labour Party Conference in Birmingham in protest at the party's stance on Higher Education funding.
Despite significant gains for left wing candidates at the 2015 National Union of Students conference, candidates standing on the National Campaign Against Fees Cuts slate saw limited success. NCAFC's candidates for President, Beth Redmond, and Vice President Higher Education, Hattie Craig, widely regarded as presenting a 'hard left' face inside NUS in comparison to many of the other left-wing candidates, were not elected into full-time roles. However, NCAFC's candidate for Vice President (Welfare), Shelly Asquith, was elected, and Beth Redmond and Hannah Webb were elected to the NUS Block of 15, meaning the NCAFC have maintained a presence on the NUS National Executive Council as well as maintaining a strong presence in student unions and in autonomous areas of NUS.
In November 2015 the NCAFC organised another national student demonstration in London under the slogan: "No Borders, No Barriers, No Business". The demonstration aimed to connect the fight against cuts to maintenance grants affecting the million poorest students and issues of migration and the refugee crisis. Organisers claimed 10,000 students from across the country joined the protest.
The demonstration was marked by a clash between police and protesters outside the Department for Business Innovation and Skills when protesters attempted to storm the building. This was followed by what organisers claimed was a use of the controversial kettling containment tactic on Victoria Street, before thousands of students broke police lines and began an unscheduled demonstration through the Victoria area that continued into the evening. 12 demonstrators were arrested over the course of the day.
NCAFC also has semi-autonomous campaigns in Scotland and Wales.
- Disabled People Against Cuts
- Edinburgh University Students' Association
- Royal Holloway Students' Union
- University of Birmingham Guild of Students
- Young Greens of England and Wales
- What is the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts?
- Politics as usual has failed. Students must take direct action, The Guardian, 22 November 2010.
- Student protests: school's out across the UK as children take to the streets, The Guardian, 24 November 2010.
- Thousands march in student protest over university fees, BBC News, 9 November 2011.
- "HE bill ‘to be shelved indefinitely’". Times Higher Education. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
- The Guardian (2014-11-19). "Student protest over tuition fees ends in scuffles with police". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (2015-03-12). "Live Blog: National Day of Action". anticuts.com. Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "March for Education in your city...ROUND TWO". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- The Guardian (03/12/2014). "Warwick University students accuse police of attacking tuition fee protest". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "Brighton March for Free Education: No Fees, No Cuts, No Debt!". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "Bath Marches For Free Education!". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "Norwich students take part in march for free education". 2015-02-02 – via 01/06/2015.
- "LIVING GRANTS NOT A GRADUATE TAX! DEMAND LABOUR COMMITS TO FREE EDUCATION!". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- Jarvis, Chris (03/05/2015). "Rebuilding the Student Movement - The Left Takes NUS". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- Socialist Action (02/05/2015). "Left victories mark start of new era for student movement - NUS Conference 2015 report". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "Megan Dunn elected as new NUS President". 2015-04-22. Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "NUS Vice President Higher Education election 2015 count sheet" (PDF). Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- "NUS National Conference Results and Count Sheets". Retrieved 01/06/2015. Check date values in:
- Sketchley, Hannah. "Why Students Are Marching Against a Government Waging a War on the Young and the Working Classes". Huffington Post.
- "Police arrest protesters at march against scrapping of student grants". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "Nations and Regions". NCAFC. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
- Vice Chancellor high pay report - anticuts.com, 16 April 2012
- More Russell Group academics 'earning six-figure salaries' - The Daily Telegraph, 19 April 2012
- Top universities 'doubled pay for senior staff' - BBC News, 20 April 2012