Northern Ireland

Students protest 'unlimited fees' plan at QUB

Students holding signs reading grants not fees
Image caption Lord Browne's report allows for charges of up to £12,000 a year.

Students protested new proposals for funding university courses in Queen's University Belfast on Tuesday.

Queen's Students' Union organised the demonstration against Lord Browne's plan to remove the cap on fees.

All Northern Ireland MLAs had been invited to attend along with the university's vice chancellor.

Lord Browne's report proposed lifting the cap in England, allowing charges of up to £12,000 a year. Northern Ireland is also expected to implement the plan.

An email leaked to the BBC News website suggested that universities in England face funding cuts of £4.2bn in the coming Spending Review.

The Queen's protest followed a meeting of the students' union general assembly in Mandela Hall which debated a motion rejecting the proposals for the abolition of the cap on fees.

Student President Gareth McGreevy has said the action is not just symbolic.

"The National Union of Students and the Union of students are involved in intensive lobbying of political parties at Westminster and Stormont," he said.

"A majority of Northern Irish parties are with us. At Westminster, we are close to securing enough Lib Dem rebels to seriously imperil this ridiculous, unfair, and unsustainable proposal.

"Politicians need to know that students care; that they can't simply be kicked around."

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