Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Writing For The Media - News Writing Assessment 7

Students at the University of Runningham shocked staff on Thursday evening by barricading themselves into the Vice Chancellor’s office over the issue of top-up fees.

Around six of the University’s 4,200 students took part in the sit in, following the Vice Chancellor to agree to meet representatives of the students’ union next week.

Amanda Donne, president of the university’s student union, said: “We have been lobbying for weeks and so far he has refused to meet us. Certain members of the student body obviously felt so strongly about this that they decided to take positive action”.

The University is now charging students the maximum of £3,000 a year in top-up fees, potentially increasing students debts to £15,000, stretching the period of time it will take students to repay their debts.

James Robbins, a third year Photography student said: “I think it’s great that these students decided to make a stand to demonstrate how serious the issue of student finance has become. At last the Vice-Chancellor has agreed to talk to us”.

Students will be eligible to start repaying their loans once their annual incomes pass the £15,000 threshold.

Once students are earning over that figure around 9% will be taken from their salaries each year, until the loan is paid back in full.

Police were called to the incident after an emergency call was made at approximately 9pm by security staff after an alarm went off in the main administration building at the lower end of the campus

A police spokesman confirmed that six students were taken to Woolley Green police station, but were released later without charge.

The students have not been named but are believed to be studying Fine Art.

The college has since launched an enquiry into how the six students gained access to the area.

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