Minister confronted over tuition fees

Hannah Eade (14) and Marianne Osman (14).

Picture: Sarah Standing

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UNIVERSITIES minister David Willetts was confronted by protesters when he gave a talk at the University of Southampton.

The MP for Havant gave a talk on his book The Pinch, which is about his theory that the baby boomer generation has the financial and political advantage over the younger generations.

He was met by around 60 protesters demanding he justify his plans to charge university tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year, beginning in September.

Protest organiser George Disney said: We’re disappointed that the government Minister for Universities wasn’t able to address our concerns regarding his plans to fundamentally restructure university education.

‘The government’s university policy is every bit as radical and damaging as its NHS shake up, and has been rushed through without proper debate.’

However Mr Willetts said he happily spoke to protesters.

‘They have their worries about fees and I explained why I thought our policy was the right way to ensure universities did not have cash cuts,’ he said. ‘I don’t know how many of their minds I changed but it was a good discussion.’

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