Student protests – Will they work?

Now that the news can get busy reporting on the aftermath of the second student protests that happened across the UK, the big question is whether this is really going to work? Already there has been questions about whether the Government do listen to the public, especially at the huge protests against going to war in Iraq which seemed to be ignored.

After watching Young Voters Question Time last night on BBC3, one of the questions raised was whether the Government was listening and whether there will be a review of the current plans to increase tuition fees yet make huge cuts to university funding. David Williets, the Minister for Universities made it pretty clear that there was going to be change and this was how it was going to take place which does seem quite unfair considering he got his Oxford education on the back of the taxpayer.

From the scenes of yesterday, it is clear that many are outraged by the proposed changes and this includes future and current students as well as staff. The media needs to focus off less of the violence caused by a few and look at the peaceful protest that was held by the majority. Even social media sites such as Twitter started to censor what could be tweeted by stopping posts with the hastag #demo2010 for fears that there may be violence being planned.

For what I think has the most unbiased view of the protests, watch The Guardian’s video and see how many of the people interviewed are being peaceful, yes there are some being violent but why is the message of saying “No to David Cameron” being put behind the image of a destroyed police van?

It’s not just the fees that this country should be shouting against, it’s the cuts to the funding that are just as bad. Admittedly, I’m not going to be as affected as some when this gets introduced as I am  (luckily) at university now but there will be a time when my cousins, nieces and nephews and even children of my own one day say they want to go to university, but because of these changes they don’t feel they are able to. Admittedly, a new Government could U-turn on these proposals if they are put in place but it’s unlikely. As soon as tuition fees were introduced, it’s been a slippery slope down into more and more chaos and unfairness.

One of the best things about this country is the education system and how anyone can get to university as its down to intelligence not wealth. The choice each prospective student has in being able to choose what university is right for them should be down to personal opinion, not their bank balance. It feels that this is the beginning of what will effectively rip our society further apart and its starting to make me understand more the concerns people had about a Tory Government before the election this year.

As to whether the protests will work, personally I think its too late to change anything and that our power to change what policies were put through disappeared many, many years ago. However, I’m still hoping it will make a difference.


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