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UK students protest tuition hike

posted Dec 9, 2010, 9:27 AM by Sam Mbale   [ updated Dec 9, 2010, 9:30 AM ]
Students demonstrate on the streets of London, in protest over a proposed bill that would allow tuition fees to treble.
UK-STUDENTS DEMO - University students take to the streets of London Thursday.

They are protesting a proposed bill that would raise tuition fees -- as parliament prepares to vote on the divisive plan.

Outside the University of London, students hand out anti-government banners -- while police patrol the area in force.

One protest organiser says they are sending a clear signal to the government.

STUDENT DEMO ORGANISER, MARK BERGFIELD, SAYING:

"Regardless whether the vote falls or passes, the protests will be very significant because indeed we are saying - what Parliament does we can undo, and today we will be showing that our strength lies in the streets, that our strength lies in the collective power of ordinary people."

Another student says the bill is a move against academia.

GORDON MALONEY, 20, ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY STUDENT, SAYING:

"I see what's happening as an ideological attack on the role higher education plays in society much more than just a matter of increasing fees or a broken pledge, I think that's a really dangerous road to go there."

The bill looks set to pass -- despite the opposition of some Liberal Democrat members of the coalition government.

The proposed measures will allow universities in England to charge student fees up to nine thousand pounds per year -- almost triple the current limit.

Travis Brecher, Reuters

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