A year after Europe witnessed a wave of students protesting against impending rise in fees, students in the UK have decided to follow suit.
In November 2009, more than 90,000 German students launched a series of protests across the country over the proposed introduction of university fees of up to 500 euros per semester.
In a country that had previously enjoyed free education this caused a major shock. Students protested for four to five days without a pause until they were forced to withdraw by police.
Stefanie Soehnchen, an international student at the University of Westminster, confirmed that the protests resulted in a ‘deal’. The students would pay the fees but only if they knew what it was used for.
There were large-scale protests in Italy at around the same time. Some of the clashes between students and police turned fierce with intense fighting. According to libcom.org, more than 150,000 students protested on the proposed cuts to education.
Students alleged that the presence of fascists in the universities caused these kinds of cuts. At a press conference, the ministers Brunetta and Germini called the students guerrillas.
According to libcom.org, in March 2009, students in France clashed with police in Paris after a demonstration over the university reforms that they said would create a ‘two-class’ public education system.
Universities across the country had to be barricaded in an effort to prevent the student protests from escalating.
And now nearly a year later, students across UK have taken to the streets, protesting over the three-fold increase in university fees. On 10 November 2010 hordes of students marched on the streets.
Despite the governments repeated claims that these changes are beneficial in the long run, students appeared to disagree.
While the protests in other European countries managed to create a response from the authorities, if reports are to be believed, the UK government will hope to remain unaffected.