The majority of students condemn the violence of the HE funding demonstration

The NUS organised demonstration against HE funding cuts and the proposed hike in tuition fees ended in violence on wednesday.

Full demonstration story on the BBC site

In a poll on The Student Room today members made it clear that they didn’t support the violence:

69% – Against the Conservative building being stormed

31% - For the Conservative building being stormed

This thread ‘ To everyone rioting, breaking windows and starting fires‘ resulted in some heated debate. This comment from member NGC773 receiving 90 thumbs ups from other members using the new post rating system:

“to protest the higher fees should be ashamed of yourselfs. Breaking windows and causing fires makes us look like idiots and will make the matter worse. Violence doesnt solve anything.”

Visit the ‘University funding forum‘ on The Student Room to follow the debate

Or the Demolition 2010 social group where members are sharing photos

  • James Jeffries

    Thanks for that Jamie…

    A 2/3 majority against violence only makes it clear there is a 2/3 majority against the violence but that still leaves a quite frankly stunning ~1/3 that do.

    It’s a relief that the majority of our country’s young people are the sensible and grounded people that a lot of people would be happy to fund in university but that *substantial* minority is terrifying. Your poll is an eye-opener and makes me tend toward the push for students to bear the cost of their own education as more validated. I would honestly have expected a figure nearer 3%.

    The NUS should be very scared of this figure getting out. A lot of student supporters are claiming it to only be a minority that are stirring up trouble. Now I’m not so sure.

  • Jamie O’Connell

    There are certainly a lot of angry students and HE professionals out there…

    The Telegraph today is reporting on their front page that a number uni lecturers (Goldsmiths is mentioned) supported the violence as it bought the tuition fees row “media attention across the world”.

    It is a fundamental change to the way things have worked till now, I don’t know about you James but I didn’t have to pay fees when I went to university. Had I faced debt of this level it is questionable whether i would have gone. And a problem is that there are seen to be few credible alternatives to attending university.

    I wonder what proportion of students marching were current students v’s future students? We’re putting out a report next week based on research we’ve done since the Browne review publication into how current GCSE students and A-Level students feel about the change. Also how much value for money current HE students feel they are getting.

    Was the violence justified? Of course not and it was tiny number of the demonstrators that got involved. However you can’t blame all worried, confused students and lecturers from being glad their cause now has the media spotlight. Whether that will influence policy makers probably not but if nothing else it highlights the need for plenty more communication. Having conducted the live Q&A with Lord Browne on The Student Room a few weeks ago there seems to be a fair bit of misunderstanding about how the fee and grant system will work.

  • KCC

    I think it is about time people started waking up to the fact that you sometimes have to behave in ways which grabs peoples attention. No one condones violence for violence sake. That is so obvious it isn’t worth mentioning. People are angry and justifiably so. I remember when the fees just came in when I was at college. We were disgusted with it then and many of us are even more disgusted with it now. We knew that this policy was the beginning of the end, in terms of access to education, especially for working class people. The fact people on income support get there fees paid, is totally and utterly irrelevant to those that do work for low to middle incomes. I am so tired of hearing that.

    The fact of the matter is, if you do not have the money, you will struggle in all aspects of every day life, but on top of that, everything will be made more difficult for you to achieve, to keep you in your place. Student fees and their rediculous rise is just one of many examples. I do not apologise to anyone for my views because they are real and I see it every single day, everywhere I look, living in London. The depravation in this wonderful city is shameful and should not be ignored. If you believe that loans do not deter students from poor backgrounds and even those on middle incomes, you are living in cloud cuckoo-land quite frankly. People can barely afford to pay rent and eat, let alone saddle themselves with a mountain of future debt.

    Did you see the Evening standards articles about poverty in London. If you haven’t I suggest you search for it online and read it.

    I am a current full-time mature student and have been a student in the past at Goldsmiths. Good for Goldsmiths for having the spine to back this outpouring of frustration in a realistic manner. This is also about the attack on public services and the contempt the government has for not only students, but public workers.

    I am convinced that the students who study and work hard and lead lives which are not made easy by financially secure parents and strive to achieve their goals with grit and determination like myself, agree that the violence at the demonstration was understandable. If you want to sit there taking the moral high ground, thats up to you. Maybe you can afford to, because you do not have to struggle in the same ways as many students like myself have to.

    If we had a student union which represented ‘real’ people instead of swallowing every piece of biased media hype, we might get somewhere.