Which Issues Will The Students Of Bedford Be Voting For On 7 May?
The Debrief: From tuition fees to mental health, these are the issues students in Birmingham will be voting on next week...
We’ve had a fab time joining Sky News on their #StandUpandBeCounted tour of the UK! After joining them in Sheffield, Cardiff and Birmingham, our final stop is Bedford where we chatted to students at the University of Bedfordshire.
Bedford will be quite an exciting place to vote on May 7 as it’s what’s called a marginal seat i.e. it’s very close competition and harder to predict who will win. In 2010 the Conservatives won the seat from Labour, who had held it since 1997; the Conservatives won 38.9% of the vote and Labour came second with 35.9%. See what I mean, very close.
So what do the students of Bedford Uni make of all this election stuff ?
LEANNE CLARKE, 21, FROM KENT, MAGAZINE JOURNALISM STUDENT
For me, I’m focusing on animal rights. Obviously animals don’t have a voice; we are their voice. For example I care about animal rights in sports, not necessarily getting rid of the sports but just making sure they’re treated better like in greyhound and horse racing and things like that. I also care about the environment in general, we need to make sure that we look after the planet and everything on it otherwise it won’t be here much longer.
JADEN GILBROW, 20, FROM HOUGHTON-REGIS, THEATRE AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE STUDENT
I feel like we only hear the negativity around politics, we don’t really know what the parties actually stand for. Politicians slag each other off too much. I also think a lot of politicians say things they don’t follow through with and it’s hard to trust them. But what I’d really like to see is a political party fighting, like really fighting, for equal rights. The pay gap between men and women needs to decrease; politicians should say no, everyone deserves the same chance, that’s what I’d like to see.
FRANKIE DOUGLAS, 21, FROM WINCHESTER, EVENTS MANAGEMENT GRADUATE
The NHS is the main issue for me because it’s used on a daily basis by millions of people up and down the country every single day and privatising it and selling it off is really not what our country needs, we don’t want to turn in to America. It’s quite close to me as I have a brother with Total Allergy Syndrome and our family uses the NHS daily for him. For that to be privatised the financial burden on my family would be extortionate.
ELIZABETH DOUGHERTY, FROM ESSEX, DISABILITY STUDIES STUDENT
The cost of tuition fees is my main issue. They are way too high especially when there’s no guarantee of a job after paying all that money. I think they should be lowered; I don’t mind paying a bit but just not £9 grand every year. The amount we’re paying is ridiculous.
DEANDRA MUNROE, 19, FROM LONDON, PERFORMING ARTS STUDENT
A main issue for me is that there needs to be more activities for young people like youth clubs. I have a younger brother who often gets very restless and when he’s not doing school work it’s not good to have him just cooped up in the house and he can’t just roam the streets. It would be good if there were youth clubs to keep young people active. They should also have motivational speakers to uplift them and guide them on the right path so young people don’t feel like noone’s there for them.
SASHA ANTOINE, 20, FROM LONDON, PERFORMING ARTS STUDENT
I think politicians should push for more graduate opportunities. At the moment we spend three-to-four years in uni, some people more, and then we come out and can’t even go into the industry that we’ve studied for. If we can’t even go into the job we spent all this money for then what’s even the point of going to uni? I think there should especially be more jobs in performing arts as when I’ve been to job and volunteering fairs there’s hardly anything for us.
REANNE KHOKAR, 18, FROM MILTON KEYNES, STUDENT
I think the arts needs more funding for the government. I’m going to drama school and I’m worried because funds are constantly being cut; arts funding in schools is being cut and local theatres aren’t able to fund themselves. I think this government have decided arts aren’t that important and need to start taking the arts seriously. More funding for the arts would enable more people to go and see it. This country is built on culture, what’s a country without art?
LADY-GABRIELLA DADZIE, 21, FROM LONDON, EARLY YEARS EDUCATION STUDENT
Early years children are the most vulnerable children in education. I’ve had to go in to nurseries for my course and they are often under-staffed and often some of the staff aren’t qualified enough as they are still training. I think if early years professionals don’t go through the degree route like I have, the training needs to be better. They also need more funding as the services are strained at the moment.
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