Goldsmiths UCU branch sends greetings to all students now undertaking rent strike in student halls of residence in Goldsmiths and across London.
Why are these rent strikes happening?
– Massive funding cuts to universities mean revenue streams are being sought from parts of the university that should be treated as non-profit.
– UK students have been robbed of what all of their European counterparts get: an education at no cost, with education as a common good. Treating students as consumers rather than learners and researchers creates a perverse incentive for universities.
– The student maintenance grant is tiny and doesn’t match the cost of living let alone paying exorbitant rent. The question of whether to rent strike or not is irrelevant when the rent is too high to be paid. Therefore – Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay!
– Private operators offering higher price, lower quality housing see students as a goldmine. These chipboard slumlords have no place near universities.
Against these conditions, the whole University of London, with Goldsmiths taking a lead, should manage rent at an actually affordable level – not one where the “invisible hand of the market” strangles students’ life-chances.
Goldsmiths UCU fully supports our students in their struggle to make rent reasonable.
As a matter of urgency, all the problems with water systems and with kitchen equipment should be resolved immediately.
Goldsmiths UCU supports our NUS branch when they say:
-Students should have an affordable, good quality standard of living.
-A student’s maintenance loan should cover their cost of living, rent should be no more than half of that loan.