Education & Family

Students' day of action over university changes

student protest
Image caption The NUS wants universities to explain the "true cost" of being a student

Students in England are staging a national day of action to protest against changes to higher education.

The National Union of Students (NUS) says lectures will be boycotted as students join rallies, marches, petition signings and other events.

The walkout is part of a week of action to show high tuition fees, hidden course costs and a lack of bursaries are pricing students out of education.

The government said students had a right to peaceful protest.

Action will be held at a number of campuses, including King's College and Goldsmiths in London and universities in Sussex, Liverpool, Manchester, Kingston, Brighton, Birmingham, East Anglia, Bournemouth, York and Edinburgh.

The NUS said it wanted universities to explain the "true cost" of being a student, and for the government to spell out the future of the education system.

National debate

NUS president Liam Burns said: "We need a national debate on changes to higher education, and this week we will remind ministers that we are watching what they're doing.

"When the government quietly dropped plans for a higher education bill earlier this year, they didn't drop their plans. They simply removed the opportunity for the kind of scrutiny that has been afforded to changes to the NHS.

"Students, parents, lecturers and anyone with a stake in education wants to know what the government and our institutions have in store for higher education, and demand that they come clean."

A spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said: "We are putting students at the heart of the system, with a diverse range of providers offering high-quality teaching.

"Going to university depends on ability not the ability to pay.

"Most new students will not pay up front, there will be more financial support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and everyone will make lower monthly loan repayments than they do now once they are in well-paid jobs.

"Students, like other citizens, have the right to participate in peaceful protest."

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