By Josh Smith
Durham’s Young Greens protested last Thursday to secure funding from Durham’s Student Union in order to participate in London’s national demonstration for free education.
The party’s campaign began at St Mary’s and received 120 signatures in a petition calling for Durham’s Student Union to help subsidise transport to the event on 19th November.
Heather Urquhart, the President of the Durham Young Greens, spoke to Palatinate, saying: “The Green Party believes that higher education is essential to building a civilised society.
“Countries with free education tend to have a more educated population, for example Scotland has never charged tuition fees to home students and has the most highly educated population in Europe.
“The benefits of a highly educated population with non –financially dependent learning opportunities include increased social mobility and the creation of a greater democracy with an engaged and educated electorate.”
However, the protest was not as focused on free education and was instead calling for money. The Young Greens do not possess the financial means to pursue their political agenda independently and are reliant on bodies like Durham’s Student Union.
The demonstration on Thursday was also part of the Young Greens’ plan to raise awareness within the student population of the Green Party’s political agenda. Young Greens meet every week and hope to organise cross-society discussions on the future of free education before the demonstration.
Urquhart continued: “Education is a right not a privilege. It is important that students stay engaged with the debate and realise that, not only is it possible to have free education, it is fair and progressive.”
Photograph: Miranda Pettifer.