Write to your MP
A vote enabling an increase in tuition fees is to take place before Christmas. The issue is not just fees, but also the withdrawal of public funding from social sciences, arts and humanities, and the reduction of public spending on higher education such that it will become lower than that for comparator OECD countries.
LibDem MPs are able to abstain under the Coalition agreement, but abstention will simply allow the measure to be passed and so is, in effect, tacit support. If your MP is a LibDem MP, please point this out when you write. Labour MPs, of course, will be expected to vote against, but some Conservative MPs are also very unhappy with the proposals and so it is important that all MPs are contacted.
This link provides a simple process by which you can find out who your MP is and send him or her an email via the site.
Suggested template letter, please adapt as you see fit:
Dear (MP’s name),
I am writing to you to express my very serious concerns about the government plans for universities and the proposed changes to the funding arrangements of higher education. These plans include the reduction in support for the sciences together with the complete withdrawal of all public funding for teaching in the social sciences, arts, and humanities. This involves a failure to recognise the very considerable contribution that these subjects make to the British economy and wellbeing. More importantly, it involves a failure to recognise the importance of the university as a public good. It also means that the UK will have the lowest spending on higher education among comparator OECD countries.
I believe that the public university is essential both for cultivating democratic public life and creating the means for individuals to find fulfillment in creative and intellectual pursuits regardless of whether or not they pursue a degree programme. For this reason, I strongly support public funding of universities in the UK and I am strongly opposed to their proposed privatisation. These proposals have not been subject to proper discussion and no mandate for them was provided at the recent general election. The concern to cut public spending and reduce the deficit offers no justification for a reduction in teaching support by 76% (and at 40% overall, this is a cut excess of other areas). The overall rationale of spending cuts is to prevent the burden of the present deficit from falling upon future generations. These proposals do precisely the opposite and make future students pay for the present crisis and shoulder the cost of the public benefit of universities.
I hope that you will vote against these proposals.