Students, police clash as UK approves tuition fee hike

The plan to raise the cap on tuition fees to 9,000 pounds (USD 14,000) was approved, 323-302 in the House of Commons, a small margin given the government's 84-seat majority.
The tuition vote posed a crucial test for governing Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition, and for the government's austerity plans to reduce Britain's budget deficit.

Outside Parliament, police with riot shields and batons tussled with angry student protesters, keeping them away from the building.

Many in the crowd booed and chanted "shame" when they heard the result of the vote.
Earlier small groups of protesters threw flares, billiard balls and paint bombs, and officers, some on horses, rushed to reinforce the security cordon. Police said 13 protesters and six officers were injured in the fracas, while seven people were arrested.

The scuffles broke out after students marched through central London and converged on the square, waving placards and chanting "education is not for sale" to cap weeks of nationwide protests aimed at pressuring lawmakers to reverse course.

The vote put Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and other Liberal Democrat leaders in an awkward spot. Liberal Democrats signed a pre-election pledge to oppose any such tuition hike, and reserved the right to abstain in the vote even though they are part of the governing coalition proposing the change.

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