The brief for this pressure project was to create protest posters with supporting ideals which made a statement about student finance for those in or beyond the EU. Starting with the Student Funding page, we developed this first poster. Whilst an existing symbol used by the Student Funding body is a phone with a £ on it – presumably to represent simplicity and mobility – the student funding page was virtually useless for international students because they are not entitled to bursaries or government monies and the website simply says this and fails to redirect anyone to other sources of help, information or possible funding.
Our slogan – Give the place, Give the help – was trying to emphasis the fact that universities and the government encourage EU and non-EU students to come study at Scottish universities and yet refuse to provide sufficient financial help to make this viable.
We used black and white for a punchy, stark effect and red for anger and emphasis. A clenched fist is an easily recognisable symbol of strength and here we added a pencil to hint at the power that students should have over their own finances and the power of knowledge we will gain through studying for a degree.
Our most controversial poster is the one that reads ‘Get a job or get out’. This was intentionally written to spark thought and explanation. We spoke to a member of the International Society who told us that, because students from outside the UK are not entitled to bursaries ect their only options are jobs (which are limited, usually badly paid and often restricted by visas) or possibly charitable trusts. Even though the university is eager for all students to study comfortably and thrive, there becomes a point when government legislation creates too much of a barrier and ultimately, students may have no money to live on and be forced to return home.
I feel our posters had a strong visual impact and I learnt a lot about how funding for international students works and the additional struggles.