Students take to streets over fees

November 13, 1998

Students across the country demonstrated this week against tuition fees and student poverty. More demonstrations are planned for the next few days.

Yesterday, the National Union of Students lobbied MPs at Westminster, demanding action to stop tuition fee charges and relieve the financial hardship that, they say, forces many students to leave their studies early.

NUS president Andrew Pakes delivered to 10 Downing Street a Student Rights Charter, signed by MPs, vice-chancellors, staff and students. It outlined basic rights for students, including state-paid tuition; decent, affordable accommodation and a fair wage for safe part-time work.

Students also displayed a Pounds 150 million cheque to represent the amount collected from all students in the first year of charges.

Mr Pakes said: "Until the government brings an end to student poverty and hardship, the NUS will continue to condemn their actions and policies."

Earlier in the week, Scottish students demonstrated in Glasgow. They complained that while fees would raise Pounds 75 million a year from students in Scotland, the government was giving just Pounds 4 million to hardship funds.

To coincide with a European Week of Student Action, the left-wing Campaign for Free Education will demonstrate in London on Wednesday. The NUS is not supporting it.

Pakes profile, page 8

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