Students I bring you greetings of solidarity from UCU – from University and College Union – the trade union that works with teachers and lecturers in colleges and universities.
UCU supports you and we are campaigning to take action in support with you, in September.
Please take a lesson and learn from the past.
Thatcher’s government created divide and was able to create division between students and their teachers.
Divide and rule. It’s the oldest trick in the book.
Don’t let that happen again.
The trade union representing your future college teachers and university lecturers is on your side.
People will want to divide us because they know that together we are strong.
Now – I have to say that my generation has failed you.
We have campaigned and we have made changes – and you are right to say that that is not enough.
It is NOT enough.
What you are saying is that the system itself doesn’t allow us to make the changes we need to see – and so we need to change the system.
And YOU, you have the energy, you have the strength and you have the courage to change the system.
Maya Angelou – the writer, the poet, the political activist –
Maya Angelou said that one person, just one person, with right on their side is strong.
Take a look around you and see, collectively, just how much ‘strong’ there is. You are part of an incredible movement. And take strength in knowing that.
What I ask of you is this:
⁃ That you stay strong and true to what you believe in.
⁃ Remember what it is you want and why you want it.
⁃ Stay rooted in your values and your values will lead your actions.
Stay true to yourselves and your teachers, your lecturers, your educators will take a lesson from you; they will learn from you.
I close with a quote from the poet Wajid Hussein:
“There might be mountains ahead, but don’t look at the mountains – look only at your path.“
Students – you are incredible.
In peace. Solidarity.