UNIVERSITY MANAGEMENTS at Luton, the University of the West of England (UWE) at Bristol, and Derby are stepping up their draconian measures against students who have not paid their tuition fees.
Luton University expelled 206 students who had not paid their fees last week, and UWE sent letters to 2,400 students threatening them with expulsion. Derby had already threatened students with being expelled if they didn't pay their fees.
"I just couldn't afford to pay them," said UWE student Chris Hall. "I borrowed money to pay the fees on a credit card. "I know dozens of students who can't afford to pay the fees, and some of them won't be able to borrow the money."
Three hundred students protested against the university's letters at UWE last week. Around 20 people demonstrated in Derby. "If there's 2,400 students in this situation through no fault of their own it seriously suggests that there is something wrong with the funding system in the UK," said Edwin Dyson, the UWE NUS student union president. "We back the NUS in its call for grants, not fees."
Around 30 students held a party outside the home of the University of Durham's vice-chancellor, Sir Kenneth Calman, on Thursday of last week. They were protesting about the increase in hall rents. "About 20 of us slept out all night," says student Paul Leake. "We wanted to emphasise that our homes are at risk while he gets this huge house completely free."