Norwich students protest tuition fees hike

Norwich students today joined a wave of protests against government plans to increase tuition fees and slash university budgets.

Much of the anger was directed at Simon Wright, the Liberal Democrat MP for Norwich South, who is yet to decide how he will vote on the proposed changes - despite campaigning against tuition fees in the lead up to the general election.

Students at the University of East Anglia (UEA) marched with candles and a coffin to signify 'the death of higher education.'

The protesters carried banners and placards reading 'Take back your education' and signatures were collected for a petition urging Mr Wright to honour his pre-election promises.

Tom Dolton, communications officer for the Union of UEA Students, said: 'We are distraught that the hike in tuition fees will affect students' ability to go to university.

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'How can we expect students to continue contributing to the culture and economy of university cities like Norwich? We believe that university is a right, not a privilege.'

Students at Norwich University College of the Arts will be using their artistic skills to lobby Mr Wright.

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Polly Wilson, student union president, said many students felt 'very let down' having voted for the MP because of his stance on fees.

'It's just not fair,' she said. 'We are encouraging students to make something for Mr Wright along the themes of broken promises and keep your pledge rather than just send letters. It will show that this is something we care about and are willing to spend time on.

'We completely support the action of other schools and colleges.'

The City College, Norwich, was not talking part in today's action, but student union president Tom Grant said a protest was being planned for the coming month.

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