Students march to voice their concerns

University of Leeds students protesting in London. PIC: Anthony Caton.

University of Leeds students protesting in London. PIC: Anthony Caton.

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Hundreds of students from Leeds marched through London yesterday (Nov 21) to protest against education cuts, tuition fees and unemployment.

Students from Leeds’s three universities descended on the capital for the demonstration organised by the National Union of Students (NUS).

It was the first national student protest since a wave of unrest over tuition fees two years ago which ended in clashes with the police.

More than 10,000 students from across the country marched near to the Houses of Parliament over the impact of higher tuition fees and the loss of the education maintenance allowance (EMA).

Antony Haddley, union affairs officer at Leeds University Union, said: “Students feel betrayed by politicians. We’ve been given too many false promises and weak apologies.

“This demonstration is about students coming together to show a united front against the policies that are having such a negative impact on students and graduates.

“This is just the start of our mission to ensure that students are on the agenda of every political party’s manifesto come the next election, and if they aren’t – students will make their feelings known at the ballot box.”

But a rally in Kennington Park was abandoned after a union leader was heckled and forced from the stage.

As the rally began, chants of “NUS, shame on you” could be heard, and NUS president Liam Burns was pelted with eggs and a satsuma.

Around 20 protesters then broke through the barriers and stormed the stage, forcing him to leave.

University applications submitted in Yorkshire and Humberside fell by 8.4 per cent in just one year following the tripling of the cap on student tuition fees, new figures reveal.

The Leeds West constituency, which covers Bramley and Armley, saw the largest drop in applications in the city, with a 15 per cent fall.