Thames Valley Students Protest

Students from the Thames Valley are heading for London today to take part in another protest against plans to increase tuition fees.

MPs are voting on the proposals later and if they go through, universities would be allowed to charge students up to £9,000 per year.

The students heading for the protest say they're going to lobby local MPs to try and convince them to vote against the plans or abstain.

But Reading University's Students Union says it doesn't think as many students will be able to go to this demonstration as the last ones because they haven't had enough notice, but they're still hoping around a hundred will make a trip.

Jess Lazarczyk is the President of the Students Union, she says:

"We want to send a final strong message to MPs before the parliamentary vote on the future of Higher Education.’’

Yesterday in Reading about a hundred university students and sixth formers staged a protest outside the Town Hall - before marching to the offices of a local MP to present a petition against the plans signed by over a thousand local sixth formers.

Dr James Anderson's a lecturer in computer science at Reading University. He was at yesterday's demonstration and he told Heart he's going to the London protest too. 

He says:

"Universities have been cut back for the whole of my life.  I went to university in 1977, the first year of the education cuts and it's been going on ever since.  It's really serious now - many universities are going to close as a consequence of this. In Reading it's going to cut back on mature students, on part time students.  I know they've got financial support, but it's still a a very big step for those groups of people to join.  It brings huge uncertainty - we don't know which departments will attract students and which won't."

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