11/11/2010

Fifty Arrests Over Student Protest Disorder

A total of 50 people have been arrested for disorder in connection with yesterday's student protest in central London. All were taken to various police stations around London and have since been bailed.

The national protest took place yesterday against higher education cuts and planned increases in tuition fees that could leave students facing £9,000 worth of debt.

Medical graduates alone could face debts of around £70,000 with around 30,000 people taking part in the protest.

The British Medical Association (BMA) joined the demonstration in London under its campaign 'Higher Education on Life Support,' to highlight the impact of the government’s plans on medical schools and medical students. 



The protest threatens to unseat Liberal Democrat MPs who go back on pre-election pledges they made to oppose any rise in tuition fees.
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Some protestors attacked the Conservatives' headquarters and set fire to placards outside.

Ministers insist their plans offer a "fair deal for students".

Before the protest, Karin Purshouse, Chair of the BMA’s Medical Students Committee, said:

 “Higher education and students in all sectors and subjects are under enormous pressure, with medical students facing a particularly serious threat from the government’s proposal to increase tuition fees up to £9,000 a year.



“We are deeply concerned that medical schools will charge this maximum amount given the expensive nature of teaching medicine and the funding squeeze many are facing. If fees are set at £9,000, medical students could face debts of around £70,000.” 



Those arrested during the protests have been bailed to return pending further enquiries in mid-February 2011.

(BMcN/GK)

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