The news last week that the conservative government is converting the last remaining non repayable grants and bursaries into loans for students is sadly becoming far from surprising. This extra support, given to the poorest or neediest students on top of their loans, can make the difference between accessing university or never setting foot on campus.
By cutting maintenance grants and replacing them with higher loans, working class students with the lowest incomes will have even more to pay back... I worked long hours in part time jobs, got a credit card and I'm still in my overdraft - but I just about made it. When students are already struggling and support is cut further, how many will we lose?
With the election of a fresh Conservative government what better time to re-write, what those on the continent call, the 'Human Rights Act'. I don't know about you, but there is no one I trust more than the party that has, in the past 5 years, marched over 900,000 adults and children to food banks, to create an independent 'British Bill of Rights and Responsibilities'. I mean, nothing says 'dignity for all' like relying on the generosity of others to feed your children.
Although it may not be apparent at times, all young people in the UK have much the same rights as their adult counterparts: the right to free speech, the right to liberty, the right to free thought. And once everyone reaches the age of eighteen the right to vote also becomes available - so why don't more young people use it?
This weekend, I am celebrating International Women's Day with fellow women and non-binary activists inside an occupation of Senate House, the administrative heart of the University of London. As I look around at these people, with whom I am united in common goals of free and liberated education, an end to austerity and the protection of workers' rights, I am reminded why radical spaces like these are so important.