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News

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September 1 2003

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Thumbs down to top-up fees NUS gear up for National Demonstration against fees By Emma Bebington

Communication Officer

This year’s ‘National Demonstration against tuition fees and student debt’ has been set in stone for the 26th October. The march is largely in reaction to a Government White Paper, The Future of Higher Education , presented to Parliament last January. The paper includes a proposed increase of tuition fees from £1100 to £3000 a year, which could leave some students with debts of up to £25,000 on graduating from University. The National Union of Students (NUS) argues that it will be those from the poorest backgrounds who would

suffer most from these changes. There has already been a decline in growth of the number of students from the poorest backgrounds applying to University between 1996 and 2001 the number applying for medicine halved. The event will be held on a Sunday in an attempt to gain support from more school children and people in full-time employment. Cardiff University Union President Finnbarr Graham explained; "It is important that people see how the decisions the government is making will affect everyone in the future. Not just those who are students now." The White Paper claims money raised by tuition fees is required for reinvestment back into Universities. Past

Last year the demo was the main story for every news programme

performance however, suggests the government will take another tack. Of the £400 million raised by tuition fees so far, all has been spent outside of the University sector. There is growing concern that the Government is merely cutting down the amount of money it puts into Universities and replacing it with cash raised by tuition fees. First Minister for Wales, Rhodri Morgan, has hinted that he would rule out tuition fees in Wales if he were given the power to do so. But this would do nothing to protect students studying in England. It is also questionable to what extent, without parliamentary support, the Welsh Assembly could afford to rule out tuition fees alone. The timing of the march is therefore crucial in putting pressure on the National Assembly, Parliament and the Scottish Executive to make the right decisions. Cardiff Students Union will be arranging transport to the National Demonstration. If you would like more information then please fill out the following form, pop it in the ballot box in the Union reception or send it to Emma Bebington, Communications and Community Officer, Cardiff Students Union, Park Place, CF10 3QN. Alternatively email bebingtone@cf.ac.uk for more information.

Mandy Telford addresses last year’s demo

NUS DEMO 2003 I would like to go to the NUS National Demonstration, please send me more information. Name .................................... Email address......................... Mobile Number........................ Year of study........................... Pop this form in the ballot box on the Union reception or alternatively email bebingtone@cf.ac.uk

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gair rhydd - Issue 742  

gair rhydd - Issue 742

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