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tumestone's Avatar tumestone tumestone is offline
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Students Riot!

Students were protesting today in London because of the rise in student fees. What is your take on this? Was the violence necessary?
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ronetw's Avatar ronetw ronetw is offline
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Speaking as an old student, I have to say my time at university was excellent.. I learned a lot and came away with a good foundation with which to build on. It's worth paying something towards the teaching, but £9,000 is just stupid.

In my opinion I think it went a bit too far. Yes a little bit of force is needed in order for you to be heard. But not at the expense of your own cause, at the end of the day the government controls the overall outcome anyway, whether its quiet or violent the government will choose what they please.

I personally think there needs to be a student political party in parliament or a NUS advisor in each of the parties telling the politicians what is needed in order for our country to compete with the likes of China/Japan etc.
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Laurence_A's Avatar Laurence_A Laurence_A is offline
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I think it was totally out if order, infact it annoyed me a little when I saw the news footage. They all went there to try and get themselves heard, respected and for a little compassion for their cause; however they managed to cause violence, dusruption and damage. The protest they caused must have cost a fair amount to police and now repair. So they ended up wasting tax layers money.
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MarcDerby MarcDerby is offline
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If they had all done an online petition or a quiet protest then none of us would have really heard about it. The whole world know's about their protest now, although not the best way to go about it, they have got maximum exposure and attention.

I think this is just the start of thing's for the whole country, not just the student's. How this new government is handling thing's is not very good at all and online petitions and silent protests don't seem to achieve anything anymore.
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nbestwick nbestwick is offline
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I used to work at millbank, and i've seen many protests that have been peaceful, but have achieved a lot by blocking traffic at westminster, causing no injury and no damage to property. Yes, the students may have got a lot of attention, but all it has proved to the rest of the world that's watching is that our economy is in a bad state and we don't have the intellect or maturity to respond democratically to necessary changes.

However, I think increasing fee's to £9,000 is quite irresponsible of the conservatives. I think the fee's needed to be increased, not to deter those with less money from going to uni, but to make sure that only those that are really determined to go and better their carreers instead of have 3 years of debauchery, can get there. At the end of the day, if you don't have the money, there's always the option to take a year out to earn enough to go. However, it would be very difficult to earn that amount of money in a year, even two. And that's why I think it's an irresponsible figure to decide on.

Getting violent about these things is a waste of time and resources. This country needs to man-up and work hard for a living again. I'm up for the challenge!

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LiveWIRE_Mark's Avatar LiveWIRE_Mark LiveWIRE_Mark is offline
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I think we have to question whether it was actually students that were responsible for instigating the violence, a criminal record isn't going to look very good when applying for jobs post-graduation, or the general anarchists that you get at large scale protests.
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MarcDerby MarcDerby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbestwick View Post
I used to work at millbank, and i've seen many protests that have been peaceful, but have achieved a lot by blocking traffic at westminster, causing no injury and no damage to property. Yes, the students may have got a lot of attention, but all it has proved to the rest of the world that's watching is that our economy is in a bad state and we don't have the intellect or maturity to respond democratically to necessary changes.
That's what I mean, blocking traffic etc get's action, but is not what I would call a peaceful protest as it causing disruption.

I believe they could have gone about it in a more orgainised fashion and done something more democratic and achieved greater 'good' exposure if they all put their heads together and did something else on a mass scale.
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SimonNeuroGames's Avatar SimonNeuroGames SimonNeuroGames is offline
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Using myself as a case study, I think the argument that university should only be for those who know exactly what they want to do with their degree's and are happy to end up £40k debt ass a result is ridiculous. If the fee's do rise that high, you will cut out a lot of people who discover their calling in life whilst at Univerisity.
I hadn't planned to run a business before I went Uni, studied broad business, found out I enjoyed E-commerce and specialised after first year and had the support to run my own business this year on placement as a result. If fee's had been 9k a year I would have dismissed Uni altogether as I didn't have a clear idea of exactly what I wanted to do and couldn't justify 40k to try something I was interested in and thought I would enjoy. This is the same with many people a good example is my friend who takes media (a course which is likely to be cut and often called useless) took it because he enjoyed it started to host student radio in his spare time, something he'd never considered and now works at as a successfull presenter at a local radio station. I doubt many normal people would risk 40k worth of debt to get that experience and attempt to such a niche industry. It should be free, wide ranging and have better marking scheme's based on different criteria, it shouldn't be a purley academic elitist set of institutions for those that are 40k worth of certainty of what they want to do or don't care about what it costs. The pressure for 17yr olds to make the right decision is ridiculous, often choosing a subject they have never even studied before and having to commit mortgage size debts in order to be able to progress in a career in that area that they often know nothing about or very little about. The frustrating thing is that nowadays without a degree there is little chance of getting any job with reasonable prospects and responsibility, so hundreds of people (partly like myself) are forced to do one when they believe they are capable of doing many of the jobs out there without it, because employee's state degree as minimum requirements. The whole thing sucks and although I have been reasonably supportive over the coalitions tough decisions, this is by far the worst and most damaging for our country.

I don't agree with the violence, but at the same time can understand the anger and betrayal that students across the country are feeling. It actually makes me physically angry that a generation of people who received free university, inflated house prices so young people can't afford them, ruined the environment and broke the economy have the audacity to expect the next generation to pay triple for their education and retire later for their mess.
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James Smith's Avatar James Smith James Smith is offline
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I really dont like to talk politics with my 'work' hat on, but I agree Simon. To my mind the issue has a very simple root cause - overexpansion of the higher education system.

I an a firm believer that higher education should be free at the point of supply - but the supply restricted and rationed on ability, and ability only. So we have free education to the brightest, best and most able.

I despair at the current situation when more or less anyone who is interested in education seems to get swept through the system and can get a 'degree' which isnt worth the paper its printed on. Its absurd. Many people doing 'degrees' simply shouldn't be there. A hands on technical course would be far more use to themselves and the rest of the country.

In the late 1930's my grandfather got a place at Durham. But couldn't take it up as his father couldn't afford to send him. Now the world is a lot different 75 years on, but we are back to people are going to have to make a financial decision. I must admit when I was 17 (and that was more than 17 years ago! ), that sort of debt would have scared me rigid. I was actually the first person in my family to go to University, and I cant honestly say I might well have not gone with that sort of debt. My parents would have tried to help me out, but there is only so much they could have done. I cant see how I would be doing what I do now without the sort of start I had with free education all the way through to degree level.

So yes, its all very wrong to me, and if its any consolation Simon it makes me and a lot of other people who have benefited from free/cheap uni angry too.

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designmind's Avatar designmind designmind is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveWIRE_Mark View Post
I think we have to question whether it was actually students that were responsible for instigating the violence, a criminal record isn't going to look very good when applying for jobs post-graduation, or the general anarchists that you get at large scale protests.
I was at the demo on Wednesday and came across the violence at Millbank. It was obvious that many of those causing the trouble were not students, and those that were completely undermined the 50k who protested peacefully.

I've written up a photo report on it here.
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b_egan b_egan is offline
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I found the student riot to be absolutely unnecessary and simply disgraceful
I'm a student myself and I understand the anger towards the cost of fee's that are planned and I know many young friends of mine and people close to me having dreams of coming to University to make something of themselves and the ridiculous hike in fees has completely destroyed their visions.

Most employers today seek people who are qualified to degree level, so in order to have a reasonable living as it is you have to take the decision of facing payments to student finance (who I must say still provide shocking service, as I'm still waiting for my funding and having the Landlord threaten my family for money they don't have). Those who will have to borrow more will either have to be paid a considerable amount more just to pay off the fee or have a continuous amount of money to pay to SLC for what could be the majority of most students lives.

Take into account that the fee hike will be implemented into 'the most popular courses' to which students who finish will have a higher level of competition of employment and most likely have to find low income work, creating more national debt..

I could rant on for hours on end about this, but maybe I have missed something here and that I'm completely mistaken for my opinion, but that is about 1/10th of my view on the matter of the fee hike in general.

Back to regards of the riot, I believe all that the demonstration did was give the impression that the majority of students are, demographically speaking, chavs with no sense of mature control or have high respect for other students, seem as though the ones who caused all the damage and violent behaviour have most likely created a negative image for us all.
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tumestone's Avatar tumestone tumestone is offline
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Thank you for all the replies. Very interesting. I have to agree with James Smith, that sort of debt scares the hell out of me, i personally disagreed with the initial tuition fee, now this is ridiculous. All education should free, it would only benefit the economy and our society. I managed to start my business for half the cost it would be for me spend one year at uni (with the increased fees) obviously not everyone can do that but in my personal choice, 6 months at uni or start up your own business, i know i made the right choice.

I don't think violence is the answer but i do think with this current government this certainly wont be the last riot on our streets.
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