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Students protest in London yesterday ahead of today's vote on tuition fees.
Students protest in London yesterday ahead of today's vote on tuition fees.
Image: Jeff Moore/Jeff Moore/Empics Entertainment

UK student protests expected ahead of fee increase vote

As UK government debates and votes on tuition fee hike, thousands of students prepare to march and protest.
Dec 9th 2010, 11:33 AM 488 0

STUDENTS IN THE UK have planned further protests today in their action against government proposals to raise tuition fees to £9,000 a year (€10,700).

The proposal is being voted on in the House of Commons today.

Student protesters accuse the Lib Dem party of reneging on their election pledge to vote against higher tuition fees.

Lib Dem Party leader Nick Clegg earlier told BBC Radio 2:

I hate in politics, as in life, to make promises that you then find you can’t keep… We made a promise we can’t deliver – we didn’t win the election outright and there are compromises in coalition.

Clegg more recently described opponents of the fee increase as “dreamers”.

About a dozen Lib Dem MPs are expected to vote against the proposal and others say they haven’t decided what way to vote yet.

The BBC reports today that MPs are scheduled to start debating the fee issue shortly after midday, and the debate can last no longer than five hours. Tens of thousands of students are expected to demonstrate in London for a day of protests.

UK student union group the NUS had asked its members to lobby their MPs before today’s vote, and has planned two rallies in London this afternoon. One of those targets the House of Commons, while the other will gather on the nearby Victoria Embankment. Students are also expected to march through London.

The Guardian will be liveblogging on events surrounding the tuition fee vote throughout today, including parliamentary proceedings and the student protests.

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Susan Ryan


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