This is a video of British students demonstrating against top-up fees in London, January 2011.
From British daily The Guardian:
Tuition fees favour the rich – new study
Children from poor familes say fear of debt deterred them from university
Polly Curtis, education editor
Thursday February 14, 2008
Teenagers from poorer families are turning their backs on a university education because of fears they will be saddled with thousands of pounds of debt, new research shows. The study on the impact of tuition fees reveals today that nearly two-thirds of pupils who decided not to seek higher education cited anxieties about money.
The number of students planning to study at universities close by, so they can live with their families, has risen from 18% in 1998 to 56% today, the research shows. By comparison, pupils from independent schools [also known as “public schools”; with mainly pupils from richer backgrounds] are now significantly more likely to move to a university in a different city, opening up the option of Oxbridge and other leading institutions, says the influential charity the Sutton Trust.
Its findings set the government’s fee-charging regime at odds with ministers’ ambitions to “unlock the potential” of children in the poorest areas of the country and boost the number of them attending top universities, student leaders claim.
Government figures out today suggest a 7% rise in the number of students applying to university – taking applications to record levels – but opposition MPs say the statistics mask a stagnation in the number of pupils from low-income homes applying – and in particular, boys.
To the extent that the British opposition are Conservatives, their reaction is somewhat … err… problematic. Not just because of their one sided worrying about boys; also because of the tuition fees fit in the policies of their “heroine” Margaret Thatcher. However, the present harmful tuition fees, the “top-up fees“, are the work of the “New Labour” government; ever since Tony Blair open admirers of Thatcher.