|British students riot on political party’s deception of university fee hikes plans
Wednesday, 10 November 2010
London’s central streets saw a clash Wednesday between students and police forces in a protests that started peacefully amidst anger as student see politicians debating to increase tuition fees to more that six thousand pounds a year.
Students and lecturers protest against plans to treble tuition fees and cut university funding in England as protestors broke into the building housing the Conservative Party headquarters in Westminster and set fire to placards outside.
Student leaders told the BBC that about 30,000 people were taking part in the march which saw a sand-off between students and the police, with more protesters surging forward and chanting.
BBC reports that missiles were thrown at the police as thousands of demonstrators crowd the street outside. And protestors have been cleared from outside the Liberal Democrat headquarters, where a car window has been smashed.
In the British parliament, there was also a clash between the deputy leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman (opposition) and the Vice Prime Minister Nick Clegg of the Liberal democrats, part of the coalition government. He was accused of hypocrisy, because the Liberal Democrats opposed tuition fees in the run-up to the election.
The liberal democrats had earlier before the past general election promised that under no circumstance will there be any increases in tuition fees. In the parliament today, Mr. Clegg defended their change in decision that it has to do with the huge budget deficit they inherited from the last government. He said that when they were making the pledge in various debates and academic campuses, they were not aware of the scale of the financial mess the country was in, until they took office.
Out side the, the National Union of Students argues that it make no sense that student will be paying a prize for problems they did not cause. He is how call for a motion to unseat Liberal Democrat MPs who had promised not to raise fee prior to the election.
As the British government grapple with budge deficit, they are determined to radically cut the deficits “fast and deep” something many analysts including the head of the Bank of England worried about. By cutting deficit in this manner risk bringing the economy down to the level of a double dip recession by weakening incentives to incite domestic consumption which is also another motor to spur growth.
Higher education funding is being cut by 40% - with teaching grants being all but wiped out except for science and maths. The government expects the costs of teaching other courses to be funded by tuition fees which are proposed should rise from 2012 to 6000 pounds a year about SEK65000. Universities are also given the free will to charge any fee as they please with an upper limit of 9000 pounds, about (SEK 96000).
The BBC also report that hundreds of coach loads of students and lecturers had travelled to London from across England for the rally in Whitehall, with 2,000 students also travelling from Wales.
Among the crowds at the rally in London are about 400 students from Oxford.
Oxford University Student Union President David Barclay said: "This is the day a generation of politicians learn that though they might forget their promises, students won't.
"Oxford students are making a statement that we won't sit back and watch teaching funding decimated, we won't sit back and watch the next generation of students saddled with unbearable debt, and we won't sit back and watch our university become once again a haven for the privileged elite."
The UK is a popular destination for Scandinavian students and even this write gained one of his advanced degrees in one of the UK top universities. Increasing fees here will mean that it might kill the interest of Scandinavians to come here and might choose cheaper places such as Scotland, Germany, and Holland France etc.
By Scancomark.se Team in London