Here is a whistle-stop tour of fact, opinion and coverage of the proposed education cuts and the student demonstrations that have followed, garnered and subbed from the BBC, Guardian, Press Association, Manchester Mule and elsewhere.
The government wants to allow universities to charge up to £9,000 a year.
It’s the biggest shake up to the university sector since grants were introduced in 1962.
Labour brought in ‘top-up’ fees in 2006, also tripling the fees cap from about £1,000 to £3,000 a year. Many in authority predicted this would create a market in fees. It did not. The handful of universities that set ‘cut-price’ fees soon regretted their decisions and the cap became the norm.
The reality of funding cuts to university teaching grants is ‘so rapid and so sharp’ that universities will be left with little option but to charge very close to, or even, the limit.
The spending cuts will mean government funding for university teaching budgets will be withdrawn from many subjects, particularly arts and humanities.
Students and sixth-formers are protesting at plans to remove the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), which gives low income students up to £30 a week to help with the costs of staying in education.
The truth is the UK national debt is not as alarming as the government wants us to believe. Tackling the current budget deficit with aggressive cuts will not only damage quality of life but also the economy, in the short and long-term
Universities not only produce more wealth than they take in, but the increase in the amount paid as student loans will mean the fees increase will not actually save any money.
MPs are expected to vote before Christmas on the Government's proposals to increase the cap on tuition fees from £3,375 to as much as £9,000 a year.
Quotes from demonstrators …
'I am here today to send a message to the politicians at Westminster. It isn't fair to make our public universities the most expensive in the world. It isn't progressive to discourage young people from going to college. And it isn't just to ask the next generation to pay for others' mistakes. Over the next four years while college grants are cut and tuition fees triple, big business will get £8bn in tax giveaways from the government.’
Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary
‘I don't really like the police - they took my iPod and didn't give it back’
‘Who's kettling who? We're kettling you!’
‘We are utterly opposed to the destruction of broad-based, critical education and its replacement by education for the market that is enshrined in the Browne report. We are defending not just our jobs, but the values which brought us into higher education, reflecting the wider significance of education to society’
Open letter to the Guardian signed by 300 university staff
‘They said we do nothing but use social networking all day, but we're using Facebook to organise protests’
‘It was foolhardy in the extreme for any vice chancellors to believe their incessant lobbying for higher fees would do anything other than ensure swingeing public funding cuts that would remove 80% of the university teaching budget’
NUS President, Aaron Porter
‘I want my son to be able to afford to go to university’
Quotes from politicians …
‘I'm going to be as radical a social reformer as Mrs Thatcher was an economic reformer, and radical social reform is what this country needs right now’
‘County Hall invaded by an ugly, badly dressed student rabble. God help us if this is our future.’
Keith Mitchell, Oxford Conservative leader
‘I think people have a sense of anger and a lot of the anger is quite justified.’
‘My position is somewhat different but I am willing to go along with my colleagues. We are a disciplined party, we work together. We are clearly going through a difficult period over this issue and we want to support each other.’
‘Fair on the taxpayer, fair on the student and fair on the graduate’
Protest placards …
ENGLAND IS A GREAT COUNTRY WHEN YOU HAVE MONEY
RICH PARENTS FOR ALL
DON’T BREAK OUR ARTS
BREAK THE COALITION
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER
FEMINISTS FIGHTING FEES
FINE, I’LL BE A STRIPPER
FUCK 1968, ACT NOW
THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BREAK PROMISES
DIRECT ACTION GETS RESULTS
TORY SCUM HERE WE COME
£80 BILLION ON TRIDENT NUKES, £87 BILLION PUBLIC SPENDING CUTS
I CAN’T EVEN AFFORD A REAL PLACARD
EDUCATION FOR THE MASSES, NOT JUST THE RULING CLASSES
NO IFS, NO BUTS, NO EDUCATION CUTS