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British university students protest planned fee rise

11-11-2010 08:21 BJT

LONDON, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Tens of thousands of British university students staged a demonstration on Wednesday to protest a planned rise in university tuition fees.

Police and demonstrators confront each other in the foyer of the Conservative Party headquarters building during a protest in central London November 10, 2010. Students demonstrating against higher tuition fees burned placards, scuffled with riot police and smashed windows at the headquarters of Britain's governing Conservative party on Wednesday.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Students and lecturers came from across Britain, some of whom smashed windows at Millbank Tower during their march in central London.

The British government confirmed last week that university undergraduate students will be charged tuition fees of up to 9,000 pounds (14,400 U.S. dollars) a year from 2012 from the current 3,290 pounds (5,265 U.S. dollars).

According to the plan, graduates earning more than 21,000 pounds (33,600 U.S. dollars) per year start repaying their loans at 9 percent of their income at a real rate of interest, up from the current threshold of 15,000 pounds (24,000 U.S. dollars), with outstanding loans written off after 30 years.

Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, one of the organizer of the rally, said the proposals are utterly unacceptable.

"We are taking to the streets in unprecedented numbers to tell politicians that enough is enough," Porter said. "We should be clear that the government has asked students to pay three times as much for a quality that is likely to be no better than what they are receiving now and perhaps worse."


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