Motion on Student Fees

We are putting the following motion before Oxford City Council to support British students currently living in another EU nation:

Oxford should be rightly proud of its record for fighting against injustice, for its record in supporting access to university for all students, and fighting to retain Oxford’s connection to Europe. The Brexit lies and misrepresentations have taken us down a dark period in our country’s history and there’s little doubt that, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, Brexit reduces our right to live, work and retire in over 30 countries. It’s divided the nation and driven many away, and the government, intentionally or unintentionally, continues to sever ties, even with its own citizens.

Frequently overlooked are those British citizens who sought to live or work in the European Union as many have done over the years. Many of their children are often enrolled in their local British school. Most retain links to the UK.   

Until now British students living anywhere in the European Union were included in the home fees agreement (British students who happened to live in an EU country could return to study at a university in the UK and be treated as “Home / EU”).

After the end of the transition period and as of 1st January 2021, British passport-holding students living in the European Union will no longer meet the residency qualification for UK universities. They will be treated as foreign if they’ve not lived in one of the UK’s four nations (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) for three years up to when they start the course; and liable to the international fee rate. Yet these same British students will also be seen as foreign in European Universities, where the fees are dependent on nationality, and therefore charged accordingly.

We do not believe that the vote to leave the EU intended to forsake all those British children and their families who had taken the opportunity of living and working in the European Union. The law needs to change to enable those British students living in the EU to be given the opportunity to attend a British university. The opportunity to re-establish ties with the UK. The opportunity for a Higher Education.

Council calls on the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Education:
1. requesting him to ensure that all British citizens who are resident in the European Union, who are planning to study at UK universities, have access to the home fees rate. 
2. asking that they should also be granted access to be able to apply for student loans.

Headington Planning Applications for Weeks Commencing 15th and 22nd September 2020

A few recent applications in the Headington and Headington Hill & Northway wards:

Updated Coronavirus Advice

The City Council has issued updated advice:

The number of coronavirus cases in Oxfordshire is continuing to rise.

In the 7 days up to 21 August, there have been 86 confirmed cases in Oxfordshire, which is an increase from 65 cases in the previous week.

The majority of the new cases are in Oxford, where the number has risen from 28 to 41. The increase is predominantly among young people in the 18-29 age bracket. The increase can be partly attributed to people returning from holidays in Europe, where cases of the virus are rising, and partly to lower levels of adherence to social distancing.

The weekly rate for Oxford currently stands at 26.9 cases per 100,000 population, which means the city is moving ever closer to figures in parts of the country that have been labelled by central Government as areas of concern or that require intervention. Oxfordshire’s Public Health Surveillance Unit is monitoring the situation very closely. If cases continue to rise, then local control measures may be introduced.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health, said: “My appeal to everyone in Oxford is to remember what got us out of lockdown. Do we really want to end up with the kind of local control measures we have seen introduced in various parts of Lancashire, Yorkshire, Leicester and Aberdeen?

“At the minute it feels like we are moving in that direction. People need to be aware their behaviour is putting themselves and others at risk. If you’re young and catch COVID-19, you’re absolutely not guaranteed to get away with the mildest symptoms. Even mild symptoms are a struggle, while longer-term symptoms can include chronic fatigue, muscle weakness and memory loss.

“Equally you may well pass this onto older or more vulnerable people. How would you feel if you knew that someone was in hospital in a ventilator with their life under threat because you’d passed COVID-19 on to them?

“Now is the time to act to #stopthespread. I’ve said it over and over – this whole situation is in our own hands. We all need to act responsibly and follow the very simple advice. If we do that collectively, we will reverse this upward trend that we are seeing in Oxford. If we don’t bring the infection rate under control then measures will be introduced of the kind we’ve seen elsewhere in the country. It’s that simple.”