Tag Archives: Anti-fees march

Students across Edinburgh say NO to Rest of UK £9,000 tuition fees

24 Nov

by Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez

On Wednesday, students and supporters took to the streets of Edinburgh to protest against the fee hikes for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland.

Demonstrators met at 12:30 outside the Scottish Parliament and marched to the Scotland Office (place of the UK Government in Scotland) as response to the Scottish Government’s announcement to de-regulate fees for this year.

‘RUKidding?’ Anti fees March was organised by Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) to fight against the University’s decision to raise the fees for students from the Rest of the United Kingdom (RUK) to £9,000 per year from September 2012.

Edinburgh and St. Andrews’ universities have set non-Scottish UK students to pay £36,000 for a four-year course, while Scots will continue to receive free higher education. The measure will not affect European Union Students from outside the UK either. Thanks to the EU competition law, they will still be entitled to benefit from free higher education as long as they are domiciled in Scotland.

Around 200 students carried placards reading “RUKidding? No £9k” and claimed “No matter where you are from, no matter where you study – NO to £9,000 fees”.

Matt McPherson, EUSA President, said: “In the summer, Mike Russell, the Education Secretary, met with Principals from each of Scotland’s universities to set what the fee level would be. He set out his agenda, and the universities set out theirs.” and added: “Well at the march we set out ours – and I’m proud of the message of fair and equal access to education which we promoted.”

Despite the raise of fees does not affect Scottish students so far, Matt considers it essential to continue protesting about this issue. He said: “The one thing that makes universities in Scotland so important is that they are ambitious global institutions and we want to make sure we they remain that way.

“A third of our students are from the rest of the UK and we have to campaign and represent them as much as we can and as much as we would any Scottish student”.

University Rector, Iain McWhirter and NUS Scotland president, Robin Parker, also joined the demonstrators and lead some assemblies expressing their indignation over the introduction of fees of £9,000 a year for some students.

Matt keeps his optimism about their initiative. He said: “We are winning our argument where it matters – in the hearts of our people and communities.

“We may not get rid of fees in the next few weeks or years, but I think we will see the end of them within our lifetime, because we believe in our cause.”

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