Christian students join demonstrations against university fees

By staff writers
11 Nov 2010

Christian students joined thousands of demonstrators in London yesterday to protest against government plans to allow universities in England to charge fees of up to £9000 per year.

A minority of the protesters attracted the media's attention with their protest at the Millbank Tower, home of the Conservative campaign headquarters.

An estimated 50,000 protesters took part in the marches yesterday.

Hilary Topp, National Coordinator of the Student Christian Movement (SCM) said: “The demonstrations show that students are rightly angry about these proposals, and they are willing to stand up against unfair fees that will not affect them, but will impact on the opportunities open to future generations.”

She added: “For us this is an issue of justice - access to Higher Education should be based on ability, not the ability to pay. We are very concerned that a substantial increase in tuition fees will deter applicants from poorer backgrounds, and will enslave students to a lifetime of debt.”

Reflecting on the demonstrations, Andy Treharne, SCM member and a student at the University of Southampton, said: “The majority of protestors expressed their anger in a peaceful and constructive way. The handful of violent demonstrators should not distract us from the real issue, which is that access to higher education would become unfair under the proposed system”

SCM are calling on the government to give a higher priority to education funding, including Higher Education.

It is estimated that the proposed increases in tuition fees could leave graduates with more than £40,000 of debts. The Christian students point out that at the same time the government is planning to spend billions on renewing the Trident nuclear weapons system.

[Ekk/2]

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