On 17 September, students began an occupation of Edinburgh University’s George Square lecture theatre that lasted 36 hours. A hundred students were involved in the occupation, which followed the university’s announcement that tuition fees would be raised to £9,000 per annum for UK students from outwith Scotland, with Scottish students remaining exempt under Scottish law.
Standard Scottish degrees consist of four-year courses, taking the fee total to as much as £36,000. Students asked for the withdrawal of the new fees, upholding the principle of free education for all, requesting there be consultation between management, staff and students concerning the setting of fees in the future.
The students also stated a wider demand that market forces should not be brought into the education system through the privatisation of courses and the outsourcing of teaching. At a time of cuts, the occupiers are also demanding that senior management at the university take a pay cut, bringing their salaries in line with average wages at the institution.