Student protesters march

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Student protesters marched along Market Street this week on hearing the news that St Andrews University is to continue providing financial support to part-time students on low incomes.

More than 2000 signatures were collected for a petition organised by student group STAND who claimed the university were proposing to increase fees for part-time and evening degree students.

However, the university has strongly denied that it is increasing all part-time fees by 40 per cent, the claim quoted by STAND.

After handing in their petition to vice-principal of external relations, Stephen Magee, around 40 students marched through the town displaying a copy of the petition.

A spokesman for the university confirmed that, across the board, subsidies for all part-time evening degree students have been replaced with improved scholarships and other financial support targeted at students on low incomes.

PROTECT

He added: “Our new system will protect all part-time students on low incomes, but remove the subsidy from those who are able to pay. This will mean that approximately 10 to 15 students will pay about £100 more per year for their courses than current fee levels.

“It is also important to stress that this change will only affect new students enrolling on courses from 2011.

“It does not affect any currently enrolled part-time evening degree student.”

The protest group STAND was formed to oppose government cuts to education budgets and other public services.

They have vowed to challenge any actions by the university authorities which “serve to threaten jobs, undermine student provision or limit access to the institution.”