Students Riot Against Rising College Costs

On Nov. 10, tens of thousands of people protested against plans to triple tuition fees and cut university funding in England. Demonstrators grew violent as they stormed the Conservative Party headquarters building.

Thousands surged outside the building as people set banners ablaze and threw flaming objects into the building.

Luckily, no one was seriously hurt. The vast majority of demonstrators had been peaceful, but a small minority chose to act violently.

The students were protesting the government’s new financial plan regarding higher education in England. They plan to cut funding by 40 percent. Teaching grants will be wiped out (except for those for science and mathematics). The new plan will increase the tuition cap from the current 3,290 pounds ($5,240) to anywhere from 6,000 to 9,000 pounds. Most of the money saved by the government will be used to fill the gaps in national budget.

Compared to American colleges, this is a relatively small bill. However, it shocked the British, who currently pay roughly $5,300 per year. Students will have to pay more for school and will not see an increase in the quality of their education.

Parliament defends the education bill because students will not start paying back their loans until their annual earnings reach approximately $34,000.

Britain’s solution to paying off its national debt frightens many students at Rollins. What if the United States introduces a similar bill if our economy worsens? How many students would remain at Rollins (or any other college for that matter) if yearly tuition costs increased to the point of approaching $150,000?

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