UK students protest planned university reforms
Nov.20, London: British student leaders have condemned government plans to allow universities to raise tuition fees in line with inflation, among other changes.
At a protest in London on Saturday, the National Union of Students (NUS) and the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU), which represents lecturers, said they would not comply with any attempt to implement the ruling Conservative party's Higher Education bill.
The new measures would rank universities against a framework that included graduate employment rates and a survey of student satisfaction, allowing those that perform well to raise fees.
The move would also make it easier for for-profit institutions to obtain university status.
Officials believe the plans would improve the competitiveness of British universities and give students more value for money, but the NUS president Malia Bouattia said the legislation was an attempt to privatise education.
"It's incredible to feel the strength of our movement uniting in the face of this government's attempts to privatise our education," Bouattia told protesters gathered near parliament.
"The struggle for an open, accessible, and critical education, is crucial in determining what tomorrow will look like," she added.
The NUS believes the government measures would put at risk university departments where graduates traditionally had lower job prospects, such as in the arts and humanities.
The Oslo Times International News Network