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Scotland marches

Friday 12 November 2010 NUS News

Over 2000 Scottish students, lecturers and their communities joined tens of thousands more from across the UK on the streets of London at the joint NUS/UCU Fund our Future: Fight Education Cuts demonstration.

The demonstration was held in the wake of the UK Government's public spending cuts and in response to Lord Browne's review of higher education funding and student finance.

Why Scotland marched?

Students from Scotland took part in the march past Westminster to show their opposition to the funding changes announced by the UK Government, which will have a huge impact in Scotland.

Public spending cuts of up to 80% in university teaching funds will be passed onto to the Scottish Government and tuition fees of up to £9000 will plunge thousands of Scottish students studying in the rest of the UK into debt of up to £40,000, take tens of millions of pounds out of the pocket of students in Scotland, and only fuel calls for English students studying in Scotland to pay higher fees than they already do.

Who took part?

Thousands of college and university students and lecturers from as far north as Inverness boarded buses leaving from Elgin, Aberdeen, Kirkcaldy, Dundee, Glasgow, Paisley, Hamilton, Edinburgh and Stirling to make the trip to London. This is the largest number of students in Scotland to attend a national education demonstration in decades.

Liam Burns, President of NUS Scotland, said: “We know that the levels of cuts the UK Government are eager to implement would not only be devastating in England, but will have a huge impact north of the border as well.

"Increased fees will force Scottish students studying in England into crippling levels of debt and will fuel calls for English students studying in Scotland to pay much higher fees.

"Worse still, the staggering 80% reduction in funding for universities will be passed on to the Scottish Parliament’s own budget.

"Over 2000 students from Scotland travelled to the march as these proposals would have a huge impact north of the border.

"Cuts will be passed on to the Scottish Parliament, and £9000 fees per year could saddle many Scottish students with staggering amounts of debt.

"We need the Scottish parliament to protect education, improve student support and protect places."

Commenting on the scenes at Millbank: "I'm not going to defend the actions of a few hundred idiots. Many of the Scottish students on the march travelled overnight, some for over 17 hours.

"Nothing should detract from the strength of feeling across the country against the UK government's plans."