Yes to free education, no to TEF

Posted by Natalie Bennett on 16th February 2017

Tonight I joined members and supporters of the Free University of Sheffield at a rally at Sheffield Hallam University opposing increases in tuition fees and discussing ways to oppose the Teaching Exercise Framework (TEF), the implementation of which is being led by the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Chris Husbands.

As the National Union of Students has said, TEF is being used to justify further rises in England's already sky-high tuition fees, reflecting further marketisation of our higher education system. The NUS is calling for a boycott of the National Student Survey that's going to be a key component of the scheme - and tonight it was agreed that students across Sheffield should be encouraged to sign the pledge to boycott the NSS.

A great start - but important too to spread the word about what's happening, and also to keep up the fight for free university education, a long-term Green Party policy. We believe that education is a public good, the cost of which should be met from general progressive taxation, rather than weighing down individuals with a burden of debt that the majority will never be able to repay. (Here's some reflections from the Queen Mary University Young Greens on TEF and NSS.)