Students at colleges across England are set to take part in a day of action to “share a little love” for further education.
The National Union of Students (NUS) is urging FE students to spend Valentine’s Day celebrating the best aspects of their educational experience, as well as campaigning against the worst.
The union is particularly angry at the government’s recent 17.5 per cent cut for 18-year-olds in full time education, which analysis has revealed will have the biggest impact on students in colleges.
However, it is also concerned at proposed changes to A levels, which will see AS levels become a standalone qualification, and the removal of regulations requiring college teachers to be qualified.
The union said it wants to start making demands of all political parties to get FE at the top of their agenda in the run up to the 2015 general election.
Joe Vinson, NUS vice president for Further Education, said FE provides “important second chances” for many people, and helps people overcome disadvantage.
“Best of all, it helps people achieve their dreams,” he said. “This is why it’s even more depressing that, at a time when further education should be at the forefront of the government’s agenda providing first class education and employment opportunities right across the board, it’s suffering deregulation and cut after cut.”
The union is urging students to organise events in their colleges, to contact their MPs and local councillors and to tweet about their love for FE using the hashtag #sweptoffmyFE.
For its part, the NUS is planning to deliver chocolates, flowers and a Valentine’s Day card with a letter to skills minister Matthew Hancock.