Show your support for student radio across the UK by covering or attending the NUS and UCU national demonstration on Wednesday 10th November, 2010.

There has already been £500m worth of cuts to the education sector, with more predicted as a result of a spending review. With universities across the UK facing huge cuts to their budgets over the next few years, the Student Radio Association is urging as many of its members as possible to cover or attend the NUS and UCU demonstration in London on Wednesday 10th November 2010 to show support for their fellow students and to voice concerns about the future of their student radio stations.

If such central things as teaching and research budgets are under threat within universities, how can activities such as student radio expect to emerge unscathed? University budget cuts are likely to have a huge effect on student radio stations, many of whom rely solely on funding from their university or students’ union. In most cases, student radio stations barely get the money they need to cover essential licensing costs, and with education cuts looming on the horizon, there is an even greater worry that, without the funding these stations need to continue producing creative talent and making award-winning programming, these stations and the future of the professional radio industry could be in jeopardy.

The Student Radio Association has also come out in support of the campaign against the potential rise in tuition fees. Recent NUS research suggests that someone studying a degree in Humanities or Arts is likely to earn a significantly lower graduate premium over their lifetime than someone studying a degree in Medicine or Law. There are concerns that raising tuition fees, and therefore average student debt, will put many students off exploring course in creative areas such as art, drama and media, as they will be paying more in debt than they will receive in graduate premium.

The Student Radio Association is also worried that the rise in fees will mean that more students are forced to take on part-time jobs to pay their way through university, meaning extra curricular activities get squeezed out of students lives and the overall student experience is destroyed.

Student radio is a pool of talent upon which the professional industry draws regularly; if student stations are forced to close due to budget cuts, a generation of talented individuals is going to be lost.

David Walker, Chair of the Student Radio Association, says: “Cutting funding to universities is likely to have a significant knock-on effect on the future of industries, such as the radio industry, that rely heavily on the creative and individual talent of students. Student radio, where students can learn skills that can boost their CV and help them find employment upon graduation, is one of many student activities under threat as a result of the proposed cuts. Slashing funding to universities, and potentially the funding of student radio stations across the UK, is regressive policy, particularly at a time when our economy is struggling to recover and the government should be investing more in getting students trained in the extracurricular “soft” skills that employers desire and that taking part in student radio garners.”

The national demonstration will begin in London on Wednesday 10th November 2010, which incidentally is the day before the Student Radio Awards are due to take place at the O2 Arena.

David adds: “What better way to get student radio’s voice heard than to campaign with the nation’s students and then, the very next day, hit home our argument by celebrating the future of the radio industry at the Student Radio Awards? Over the coming months, the SRA will aim to work with the NUS to make sure that student radio is at the forefront of the demonstration.”

For more information about the NUS and UCU demonstration, visit the Demo 2010 website.  

For more information about how your station can get involved with the demonstration, speak to David Walker.