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The Corporation

Posted: 24/10/18

Speaking up for colleges

Politics students from West Nottinghamshire College headed to the capital to demand fairer funding for further education (FE).

Politics students and SU president Robyn Hodgson (right) with Mansfield MP Ben Bradley (centre) in Westminster.

They were amongst thousands of learners, staff and leaders from across the country who came together in London to take part in a march on parliament.

It was followed by a packed rally in Parliament Square, and college representatives also met with their local MP in Westminster. 

The national day of lobbying, on Wednesday 17 October, took place during Colleges Week – part of the Love Our Colleges campaign by the Association of Colleges (AoC) and several education unions – aimed at highlighting the great work that goes on in FE institutions while calling on government for better investment and fairer pay.

This comes after analysis by the AoC revealed that by 2019 funding for colleges will have been cut by almost 30% since 2009.

After the march, the West Notts A-level students, accompanied by staff and president of the college's Students' Union, Robyn Hodgson, met with Mansfield MP Ben Bradley to have their say and seek to enlist his support.

Robyn said: “Our students were keen to hear Ben’s views on how colleges are funded compared to schools and universities. It was good to see the students engaging with Ben and voicing their opinions.”

Commenting on the national rally, she added: “To see so many students in one place, passionately speaking out about their beliefs and considering their futures, was fantastic.”

AoC chief executive David Hughes said: “Every single day colleges like West Notts provide a world-class education and transform the lives of millions of people. Colleges Week was an opportunity to celebrate the brilliant things that go on and a chance to showcase the brilliant staff that make it possible.

“If we want a world-class education system then we need to properly invest in it.”