Tag Archives: Tuition

Students Protest Against Tuition Fees in London

10 Dec

London faced its most violent protests in decades yesterday, as students from across England gathered to show their anger over the increase in university tuition fees.

It was a momentous day in British politics, as, whilst clashes between students and police grew in Parliament Square, politicians inside Parliament debated the proposed increase in fees for over five hours before voting in favour of the change.

The vote means that UK based students can now be charged up to £9,000 per year (increased from just over £3,000) to study at an English university, meaning many will be left with huge debts after they graduate. The proposal created huge rifts within the British political parties, and many MPs voted against their own party’s wishes. However, the real clashes were most definitely outside.

Throughout the morning, tens of thousands of university and school students gathered in London, ready to march through the city protesting the proposed changes. There was a huge police presence ready and expecting the peaceful crowd to turn violent at some point.

This point was reached in the afternoon, when the protesters met police barriers in Parliament Square. The crowds tried to surge forward towards the Parliament buildings, but were met by riot police and officers on horseback.

Violent clashes between the opposing sides then broke out as protestors began to throw paint, snooker balls and broken bits of concrete, and the police responded with their batons. At points police on horseback were used to push the protestors back, and eventually the situation calmed down.

As darkness fell, protestors spread to other parts of London, and attacked the flagship Topshop store on Oxford Street due to its owner’s well known tax evasion. Soon after this, events took an unexpected turn when Prince Charles and his wife Camilla were caught up in the protests in the nearby Regents Street. They were travelling to a royal event, and their car was attacked with paint and missiles, leaving a window smashed and the royals visible shaken.

Ultimately, the results of this historic day of politics were the approval of the increase in university tuition fees, and the resignation of three politicians. Meanwhile, the results of the protests were 22 arrests, 10 police officers and dozens of students injured, and widespread devastation across Westminster.

The main message we want to send to you is that this type of protests are very very rare and should certainly not be anything to worry about. No one was there who didn’t want to be and the vast majority of the area of London was safe throughout the whole event.

To keep up with all the latest news, keep checking the blog and join our Facebook page for daily updates.

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UK Hit by Second Wave of Student Protests

26 Nov

Students turned out in their thousands again this week to protest the proposed increases in tuition fees, and again it was small pockets of violence that made the headlines in the UK.

After the protests two weeks ago, the police were on high alert when it was announced that students were going to march through London again on Wednesday. This mainly peaceful march broke out into violence when a police van was attacked and protesters tried to break through police lines.

The clashes in London led to 32 arrests and 17 people hurt, with the attack on the police van a particular point of contention. Demonstrators have accused police of purposefully abandoning the van as ‘bait’ for the protestors to attack. It was claimed the media coverage of the ensuing attack has worked to undermine the protest. One rioter who took part in the march said:

“The police van was a complete set up, conveniently planted right in the middle of the street with no police anywhere near it”.

The police of course deny such allegations and say it was simply the case that

‘The officers felt vulnerable and decided the best course of action was to leave the van’.

A further story that has emerged from the attacks on the police van is of a group of school girls forming a protective human circle around the van to stop protestors trying to overturn the vehicle. Zoe Williams, one of the school girls, explained:

“I was just trying to get across to them that the cause that we’re here for today isn’t about ‘I hate the police, I want to burn the police and I want to destroy everything they represent’.”

It wasn’t just in London that students were voicing their unhappiness, as across the rest of the country there were other peaceful protests. Over Wednesday and Thursday, students took over lecture theatres and university buildings in 10 universities, including Edinburgh, UCL, Cardiff and Newcastle. One of the most high profile ‘sit ins’ was at the Bodleian Library in Oxford, where dozens of students stormed the building and danced on tables.

The various forms of protest look set to continue over the Christmas period, as the government shows no signs of backing down over the planned increase to tuition fees. We will keep you right up to date with all the latest news on this matter, so make sure you check the blog regularly.

Read about the first set of protests here, and learn how the proposed increase in fees will affect international students here.

Foreign Student Fees To Remain Stable

16 Nov
The proposed increase in university tuition fees for home and EU students in the UK may end up benefitting international students. In the last few weeks, the government has revealed controversial plans to increase the standard fees for British students from £3,000 to £9,000 per year. However, a number of important figures have assured international students that their fees will not rise in the same way. In fact, it is quite the opposite. During his recent trip to China, Prime Minister David Cameron revealed that raising tuition fees for UK students will mean two things:

“It will make sure our universities are well funded …and we won’t go on increasing the fees for overseas students so fast. In the past we have been pushing up the fees on overseas students and using that as a way of keeping them down for domestic students.” “We have done the difficult thing. We have put up contributions for British students. Yes, foreign students will still pay a significant amount of money but we should now be able to keep that growth under control.”

David Willetts, UK minister for universities and science, echoed this sentiment to Indian students during his current visit to the Asian country. Similarly, according to the Times of India, Ritu Gupta, from the University of Leeds South Asia Office in New Delhi, believes that the fees increase will make UK universities more of a ‘level playing ground and Indian students will no longer have to compensate for the deficit caused by home students’.Here at the ForeignStudents Blog we will keep you up to date on all the latest news on UK tuition fees.
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