I can’t be there, but wanted to offer a note of support. It is great to seegeographers, and others, playing a key role in contesting, let’s hope
reshaping, future political landscapes. The continual talk of the
inevitability of cuts in the education sector, and elsewhere, is trying to
remove the space for political debate and consideration of alternatives. It
is good to see the creative ways of opening it up again.
Dr Gail Davies, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, UCL
I just want to offer support to the geographers, and everyone else, who
are working to influence the government’s education policy. Occupying the
Jeremy Bentham Room is a quintessentially geographic move — a claim on
space that is emblematic of the importance of students to UCL, and of UCL
to students. Shuffling the cost of education onto the students themselves,
with the claim that it is only the student who benefits, is entirely
misleading. It is society that benefits from greater understanding of
geography, history, culture, etc. And it is the government who benefits
from the tax revenue associated with the knowledge economy.
Dr Jason Dittmer
Lecturer in Human Geography, UCL
I think the key is not to see the student movement in isolation from other
parts of society because then it will be difficult to argue against the cuts
in higher education (why should it not be affected if other sectors are
affected will ask?). I think there should be a broader basis for resistance,
as this is a deliberate onslaught on the welfare state (including the
dismantling of the NHS) and an attempt to restore old social divides. While
the budget deficit will have to come down at some point, it does not make
sense to cut jobs and investment at a time when the economy is barely
growing (at least that’s what Paul Krugman, who, contrary to Osborne, did
win the nobel prize in economics, argues in his New York Times column over
and over again).
It’s completely unclear where jobs are supposed to come from if the economy
is starved of investment.
Department of Geography