Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Saturday, 6 February 2010

Plymouth students protest against tuition fee rise

Plymouth student protest
The NUS wants MPs to support their fight against rises in tuition fees

Students have staged a demonstration in Plymouth city centre to show their opposition to possible future rises in course fees.

The students, from Plymouth University and City College, are calling for politicians to sign a pledge saying they will not support any increase.

It is estimated that graduates leaving university currently face an average debt of about £22,000.

Students claim increased tuition fees could see that figure rise to £34,000.

'Top battleground'

It was announced last week that England's university budgets were being cut by £449m.

This could mean a reduction of 6,000 student places in the next academic year and some higher learning institutions may considering increasing tuition fees.

Plymouth is one of the top 20 "battlegrounds" being targeted by the National Union of Students (NUS).

With the general election only months away, the union has threatened to vote against candidates who do not support its campaign against a rise in fees.

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