Students march over fees

SIDMOUTH College sixth form students boycotted lessons on Wednesday morning to march in protest at proposed increases in university fees and cuts to university funding.

As part of a day of protest called by the National Union of Students, the group marched through town to East Devon District Council’s Knowle headquarters.

They met district council chief executive Mark Williams to express their anger at the proposed new regime for university fees and deliver a message to MPs.

Mr Williams said he would pass on their concerns to East Devon MP Hugo Swire.

A petition calling for a change of heart from the Government is circulating at the school.

School council chairman Tom Palmer hopes to go on to university to become a structural engineer.

He said: “We are protesting at the size of the increase in student fees. A rise of 50 per cent might be okay, but 200 per cent is way too high and will make higher education elitist. The Government is not getting rid of the debt, it is just moving it along to us”.

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Jay Hallam, who hopes to become a history teacher, was pleased with the support the group had from people in the town.

He said: “People were honking their horns as they drove past. We’ve been past the Conservative Club and into the town centre and market square.”