Welsh students campaign against tuition hikes, 2010

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Timing
Time Period:  
24 November
2010
to
30 November
2010
Location and Goals
Country: 
Wales
Location City/State/Province: 
Cardiff and other areas
Goals: 
To prevent tuition increases
 

In May of 2010, the United Kingdom held its general elections. One of the candidates, Nick Clegg, ran on a platform that included a promise to vote against any proposals to raise tuition fees for students. However, by October of the same year, Clegg changed his stance on the issue. The potential for a change in the cap on tuition fees from £3,290 to £9,000 was on the table. The government also announced substantial budget cuts, particularly for public services. The news of these issues resulted in an outcry of protest from the student population across the United Kingdom.

In Wales on November 24, 2010, 300 students marched on the city center of Cardiff in protest of the proposed tuition increases. Later that day, 50 students occupied a lecture theatre at Cardiff University. The protests were part of a simultaneous larger movement throughout the UK, although the events in Wales were notably marked with less violence.

The campaign in Wales was also significantly more successful - at least for the students who were residents of Wales. A few days after the protests began, the Wales government announced that the Welsh Assembly Government would pay for the increase in the fees of students who were born and raised in, resulting in those students effectively being exempt from the change. The Welsh Assembly Government also announced that the repayment threshold for student loans would increase from £15,000 to £21,000, allowing Welsh students to pay their debts off faster.

Unfortunately, this advantage did not apply to students studying in Wales who were not already residents, and the proposed tuition increases would result in them paying nearly £6000 more for the same education that their Welsh peers received. As such, many of the Welsh students continued to campaign against the tuition increases, joining the more widespread but less successful movement occurring throughout the rest of the United Kingdom.

Research Notes
Influences: 

This campaign was very closely tied to the more widespread campaign against tuition raises happening across the UK.

Sources: 
Coughlan, Sean. "Student Tuition Fee Protest Ends with 153 Arrests." BBC. 1 Dec. 2010. Web. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-11877034>.

"Students from across Wales Protest over Fees and Cuts." BBC News. 24 Nov. 2010. Web. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11832493>.

"Students from Wales Join Fees Rise Protest in London." BBC. 10 Nov. 2010. Web. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-11724278>.

Waldram, Hannah. "Cardiff Students Protest as Assembly Pledges to Pay for Welsh Students | Cardiff | Guardian.co.uk." Guardian.co.uk. 30 Nov. 2010. Web. <http://www.guardian.co.uk/cardiff/2010/nov/30/cardiff-students-protests-university-fees-welsh-assembly-government-announcement>.

Additional Notes: 
Edited by Max Rennebohm (12/08/2011)
Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy: 
Ashley Banks, 29/04/2011