Around 4000 police officers lined the streets of London on Wednesday November 9 after it was expected that 10,000 demonstrators would protest against higher tuition fees at university and privatisation.

The police had previously warned the public that they may use plastic bullets in extreme circumstances after the violence that erupted in last year’s student protests.

The student protest was organized by the National Campaign against Fees and Cuts and was supported by the National Union of Students (NUS). However, students from Loughborough University did not take part in this year’s tuition fees protest.

Loughborough Student Union President Rebecca Bridger said of Loughborough’s absence, ‘I have had no interest from students to take part in the march. As an executive we have chosen to dedicate our resources and time upon developing our future with the University to ensure the best possible student experience instead of attending the march."

The protest was mainly aimed at the tuition fees which are set to increase to a maximum of £9000 a year at English Universities. Universities in Wales will be increasing their fees to this amount in 2012 but only for students from outside Wales while Scottish students will continue to pay no fees but a maximum of £9000 will be charged to students from other parts of the UK.

The protest occurred after 27 universities and colleges asked to reduce their average net fees. Although it is not yet certain who they are, it is more than likely to be the universities charging average fees just above £7500.

This is due to the government saying only institutions charging average fees of less than £7500 could bid to regain some of the student places they will lose which could prove to be financially profitable to them. This comes after the government cut 20,000 places from every university’s core student number allocations.

University Minister David Willits said of the rise in tuition fees: ‘Most students will not pay upfront, there will be more financial support for those from poorer families and everyone will make lower loan repayments than they do now once they are in well paid jobs.’ 


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