The controversial rise in tuition fees has been confirmed following a vote at the House of Commons, amid another day of violent protests in Westminster.
Police say 12 officers and 43 protesters were injured in the clashes, as missiles including golf balls, snooker balls and flares were thrown by demonstrators, who had been 'kettled' in a containment tactic at Parliament Square, as with previous protests. There were 22 arrests made.
A car carrying Prince Charles and his wife Camilla was also attacked, but they were both unhurt.
After a relatively calm morning, the scenes turned violent as mounted police horses charged towards the demonstrators, who quickly dispersed.
The vote itself was tighter than the Government had hoped, with a majority of only 21 (despite the coalition holding a working majority of 84) passing the motion to allow universities to increase fees to a much as £9,000 a year.
Business Secretary Vince Cable described the results as
"an important step in turning the coalition's commitment to
deliver a high-quality university sector that is more
responsive to the needs of students into a reality."
The increase in tuition fees is being seen as a cushion to
soften the blow of a 40% decrease in Government funding
for universities, as announced in last month’s
In Liverpool on Wednesday, students took to the city's
streets for the third week in a row to lobby the Government
ahead of the vote, although there was a significantly lower
turnout than in the previous two demonstrations.
As with the initial protests, those taking part gathered
at the Liverpool Guild of Students on Mount Pleasant and
marched to St. George's Hall, where the students met a
number of local councillors.
Labour Councillor, and Group Spokesperson for
Education, Nick Small, welcomed and congratulated the
demonstrators. He said: “I am here today to give my full
support, and the support of the whole of the City Council,
about what you are doing today.
“We are facing an unprecedented tsunami of cuts to this
city - students, working people and public servants. We
are in this fight together against these unnecessary cuts.”
Aaron Porter, President of the National Union of Students,
spoke of hypocrisy from the Liberal Democrats, who had
pledged during their election campaign to keep tuition fees
at the same level ahead of May's General Election.
He said: "The Liberal Democrats have gone back on their promise and are more interested in keeping David Cameron in a job. Our universities are now the most expensive public universities in the world."
Responding to the violent demonstrations in London, Porter refused to take responsibility for the actions of those taking part. He added: "It is completely counter-productive and we don't condone any violent action, no matter how serious the issue is."
By Jonathan Birchall & Dawid Koziol
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YouTube: Police charge at London protesters