Coronavirus – a students’ charter

Housing

  • For universities to provide rent free accommodation for students and international students who are unable to get home because of self-isolation, transport cancellations etc. No evictions of any students who are unable to pay the rent.
  • For the right of students who have been forced to move home because of the coronavirus to withdraw from their housing contracts early without the loss of any deposit.
  • For universities to provide affordable and decent accommodation for students. For rents capped at no higher than a quarter of the average student maintenance loan – end the driving of students into the arms of rip off landlords and letting agencies. Ban all agency and contract fees.
  • For the establishment of democratic student rent strike committees across accommodation to organise mass collective non-payment of rent campaigns when necessary. 

Health and safety

  • For adequate PPE for all medical students who have been drafted into the NHS to treat people with coronavirus – cancel their student debt and provide nursing students with bursaries they can live on! For the right of any students prematurely called into the health service to return to university with full access to learning resources and at no extra financial expense.
  • No trust in the university bosses to handle to crisis! For democratic trade union and student oversight of all measures taken on the campus to stop the spread of the virus. Establish an all-union health and safety committee on every campus, with democratic representation of staff and students.
  • Take all privatised cleaning and other services back in-house to ensure democratic oversight and decent pay, safety and conditions for all workers on campus.
  • For universities to produce emergency funding for the provision of support services for students who are forced to self-isolate, including the equipment needed for home study, health provision and food delivery where necessary.
  • For full funding for doctors surgeries and mental health clinics on campuses. For adequate numbers of GPs and other health workers to be determined by campus health workers unions and students. For universities to provide remote counselling services for students who require them.

Campus cuts and free education

  • No cuts to jobs or services on campus because of the coronavirus slowdown! If there is a funding shortfall, open the books to democratic inspection by the campus unions and to democratically elected committees of students. Show us where the money has gone.
  • Cut vice chancellor pay, not jobs and workers’ pay! For democratically elected campus remuneration committees.
  • Immediately scrap all zero hours contracts on campus and replace them with guaranteed hours on a real living wage. Bring all outsourced work back in-house.
  • For the right of students who have suffered disruption to their teaching because of the coronavirus to retake the year without academic or financial penalisation.
  • End overcrowding on the university campuses! Vice chancellors and university bosses are chasing profits – for democratic trade union and student oversight over the applications process to ensure decent education for students and manageable workload for campus workers. Any increase in student numbers to be met with at least a proportionate increase in funding for teaching resources, services on campus, and affordable accommodation for students.
  • Fight for fully funded and free education! For a university education system which is run for the benefit of society, not for profit – reverse all cuts and marketisation on campus, replace student loans with student living grants, and cancel all outstanding student debt.
  • Fight for a socialist alternative to capitalism. Bring the 150 biggest banks and monopolies into democratic public ownership, under the management and control of the working class, with compensation to be paid to the shareholders only on the basis of proven need. Introduce a democratic socialist plan of production to provide free education and a decent future for all.

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