Students, lecturers and Scottish politicians held a candlelit vigil outside the Scottish Parliament last week as MPs voted to increase tuition fees in English universities to as much as £9000.
As protesters gathered at the demonstration organised by NUS and lecturers’ union UCU, news emerged that Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West Mike Crockart had resigned his position in government and voted against the fees hike.
Cheers erupted from the crowd as NUS Scotland President Liam Burns announced the resignation, adding, “Over 40,000 emails have been sent to Lib Dem MPs asking them to vote no. If that’s not a clear enough message, I don’t know what is.” Addressing the crowd, Education Secretary Mike Russell said: “What’s happening south of the border is wrong for Scotland. It’s wrong certainly for the students in England.
And it’s wrong for Scotland because what will happen is the amount of money available for education in Scotland through the daft system of funding that we presently have will mean that that will be reduced because they’re reducing the teaching funds in England. This will have an effect on everybody.”