Student protests in UK universities

WEDNESDAY 14th March saw student protests across the UK, organised by the National Union of Students as part of a ‘Come Clean Week of Action’. The week of protests, lobbying and debate took place in order for the government to come clean about their plans for higher education. A number of Universities took part in the event, with the main action seen in Central London with around four hundred protestors calling for action from the Minister of State for Universities and Science, David Willetts.

Some students, as part of the week of action, helped to raise awareness of the further hidden costs of university fees, such as compulsory field trips and necessary equipment such as lab coats. However, the walkout day on Wednesday was not as successful as anticipated. Police had expected three thousand to four thousand students to gather in Central London, yet there were only around four hundred.

Aberystwyth University seemed to be unaware of the action week or the organised protest and so no marches took place. This leads us to question whether or not there were other universities across the UK who were in the dark about the NUS protests.

The publicity for these protests clearly wasn’t strong this year, but despite this, the protest still produced some successes. By the end of the day, Sheffield University had agreed to include compulsory equipment and field trips for courses in their £9000 per year tuition fees, rather than getting students to pay for these on top of the yearly fees.