Our Demands

Defend Education believe that staff and students should have more power in every level of university decision making. Currently a small class of senior managers benefit disproportionately from the fees and work of staff and students. They have total unaccountable power to harm our interests within the university and lobby against our interests outside it.

We are fighting this campaign to try and put pressure on the university to directly accept the following demands; but also because we wish to start a debate and dialogue among students and workers at the University about the kind of institution we want it to be and how we can bring this about.

We demand:

That David Eastwood and the University of Birmingham should publicly take back their position that fees should be increased and that bursaries should be cut. Instead, they should lobby the government for fees to be reduced, and bursaries to be increased.

That the University of Birmingham make a public statement against the privatisation of student loans and in defence of the public university. The Vice Chancellor should sign up to the Council in Defence of British Universities or the Campaign for the Public University.

That the University’s total income per student place from halls should be frozen next year, and that the cheapest fifth of halls should have their prices decreased.

That all staff working for the University of Birmingham- including those employed in house, by external contractors, and the Guild of Students- should be paid a living wage.

That the pay ratio between the lowest paid and the highest paid staff in the university should be reduced to 10:1.

That a body should be set up made up of elected students, academic staff, and support staff. This should have ultimate oversight over the restructuring of departments, the University’s investment decisions, and its lobbying positions.

That the University produces a publicly available Ethical Investment and Procurement Policy which is reported on annually with plenty of opportunity of engagement with staff, students and other key stakeholders.

That financial statements of the University’s academic departments, and non-academic services should be published so that they can be scrutinised and the University’s decisions be properly held to account by the community.

That the Nursing course faces no loss of investment and no redundancies.


  1. [...] I want to finish by saying that I believe that we have a cause that is worth fighting for and no amount of university threats or intimidation will stop students and university workers from working together in closer unity to achieve what have become widely accepted as reasonable demands. [...]

  2. [...] occupation was in relation to a set of ten demands, including that staff should be paid a living wage and the university should stop lobbying for fees [...]