Students at Goldsmiths, pictured, take part in a protest over soaring rent costs.

Students at Goldsmiths, pictured, take part in a protest over soaring rent costs.

It is easy to understand why students in London are withholding their rent payments.

Thanks to the decisions of the Conservative Party, a university education for English students costs £9,000 per year. Add around £150 per week for accommodation in a university’s own halls of residence and they’re up to £14,850.

Then add in the cost of food and the materials needed for their course and these people are being asked to pay more than 20,000 a year. For the vast majority of them, that’s a debt they’ll have to pay off during their working lives.

But wages have been depressed since the Tories came into office with the Liberal Democrats in 2010. Admittedly, ex-students don’t have to pay back their debts until they start earning more than £21,000 per year – but who wants a £60,000+ debt hanging over them for their whole working life?

It’s a staggeringly vindictive way to treat the UK’s brightest young people – those who should be leading the way into the future.

The only possible rationale for such a policy is that it makes it extremely hard for any but the country’s richest to afford a university education.

And, as we see in the behaviour of the current Conservative prime minister, his chancellor, the former Conservative Mayor of London and the Tory candidate to replace him, the richest tend not to be very intelligent.

The cost of education means the UK is marching back into the Dark Ages – in more ways than one.

More than 1,000 students are now reportedly withholding rent payments at universities across London in what’s being described as “the largest student rent strike in British history”.

Strikers at the University of Roehampton and the Courtauld Institute of Art have joined those from Goldsmiths and University College London (UCL) to bring up the total number of protesters over the cost of accommodation prices they say are “soaring”.

As well as this, some of the protesters have complained about what they claim are below-standard living conditions.

Source: ‘Largest student rent strike in British history’ gathers momentum in London | Accommodation | Student | The Independent

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