Plymouth, Totnes and Exeter students in fees protests

Students occupy a room at the University of Plymouth and deliver a list of demands to the vice chancellor

Students have occupied a room at the University of Plymouth in protest against a planned rise in tuition fees and cuts to courses.

About 200 students from King Edward VI Community College in Totnes also walked out.

More than 300 students turned out for a protest at Princesshay in Exeter and brought buses to a standstill.

The government says the reforms are fairer than the present system and more affordable for the nation.

Protests are being held across the UK.

Under the government proposal, the level of tuition fees at English universities would increase almost threefold to up to £9,000.

The spending cuts will also mean that government funding for university teaching budgets will be withdrawn from many subjects, particularly in the arts and humanities.

Protesters at the University of Plymouth handed handed a list of demands to the university's vice chancellor, Professor Wendy Purcell.

'Feel strongly'

They said they would occupy Room 008 in the Roland Levinsky building until they got a "satisfactory response".

Start Quote

The university is currently looking at the ramifications of government cuts”

End Quote Professor Wendy Purcell

Emma Wilson, vice president of education and welfare at The University of Plymouth Students Union, said: "The coalition proposals to cut funding and expect students to foot the massive hike in tuition fees is disgusting.

"Students here feel strongly enough to stand up and be counted and demand that their university discloses certain information such as exactly how much tuition fees will increase to."

Professor Purcell said: "We are sympathetic to student concerns about rising tuition fees and recognise their right to peaceful protest.

"Our students are capturing the private grief felt by many across our world-class higher education sector.

"At Plymouth, a key priority for us is ensuring that talented individuals continue to have access to a high-quality education.

"The university is currently looking at the ramifications of government cuts to higher education funding and discussing how best to meet the challenges ahead.

"We will continue to work in partnership with our student body to ensure we capture their important views."

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