Accessibility links

British Students Protest Tuition Hikes

Protesters in London set off a smoke flare as thousands of students across Britain protest against tuition fee hikes, 24 November 2010

Thousands of students angered by government plans to triple university fees are marching in London and other British cities in protests targeting the Liberal Democrat party, which shares power with conservatives in the coalition government.

Students on Wednesday packed Whitehall, the street that runs from London's Trafalgar Square past the prime minister's residence, as a phalanx of riot police blocked protesters from reaching parliament.

Students are venting anger at Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, accusing both him and his party of reneging on promises during this year's election campaign to oppose any fee hikes. A small group of students hanged an effigy of Mr. Clegg in north London late Tuesday.

Protests were also under way Wednesday in Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester. At least one officer sustained injuries, and police reported several dozen arrests.

A demonstration two weeks ago against the fee hikes turned violent as protesters stormed the London headquarters of Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative party.

The planned increase will bring annual tuition costs to about $14,000 annually.

The tuition hikes are part of a program of sweeping austerity measures taken by the coalition government to help tackle Britain's soaring budget deficit.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.