STUDENTS
29/09/2011 12:27 BST | Updated 29/11/2011 05:12 GMT

University Students Stage Sit-In Fees Protest At Strathclyde

Protesters are holding a sit-in at a university over plans to charge future students from across the UK £27,000 in tuition fees.

On Tuesday, the University of Strathclyde said its governing body had approved fees of £9,000 a year for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales, capped at £27,000 for four-year courses, from the 2012/13 academic year.

The fees do not apply to Scottish-domiciled students.

A spokesman for the demonstrators said around 40 students had come from universities across Scotland, including Glasgow, Strathclyde, Glasgow Caledonian, Edinburgh and St Andrews, to stage the sit-in at Strathclyde in Glasgow.

It follows a similar occupation last week at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) after it announced its intention to introduce £36,000 fees for students from the rest of the UK (RUK), and a 36-hour occupation at the University of Edinburgh in September in protest against its decision to set RUK fees at the same level.

A spokesman for the protesters said: "The introduction of fees and continuing cuts are an attack on the values of free education that Scotland has always prided itself on, we will continue to fight cuts in education and fight wider Government austerity plans.

"Disruption will continue and escalate as long as universities continue to pass on Government cuts. The student movement did not end with the introduction of fees for English students, we will continue to fight and we will win."

A spokeswoman for the University of Strathclyde said: "A small number of protesters are holding a sit-in in one of the university's administration buildings. The impact is localised and the university is working to minimise disruption."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh Napier University has announced that it has set fees of £6,500 a year for RUK students.

It means a full-time four-year honours degree at the university would cost students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland £26,000.