Durham students stage funeral for Accessible Education with a coffin and grim reaper

There was even a candlelit procession


Yesterday evening over three hundred people turned up to protest the recent rise in tuition fees, where they staged a funeral for the death of accessible education.

Lead by the Grim Reaper himself, the protesters, arranged by the Trevelyan Left Society, marched from Palace Green, down the bailey, and ended up in front of Billy B, where they laid the coffin of cheap living fees to rest.

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Protesters marched carrying with signs quoting Dumbledore and ones shaped like gravestones mourning the death of accessible education and hope. When they laid the coffin to rest, everyone held out candles to pay tribute.

Jasmine Simms, member of the Trevs Left Association and lead organiser of the protest, said: “Warwick held a funeral for public education in response to a recent green paper recently.

“We knew as soon as the university announced the fee hikes we were going to want to respond to them with an action.

“We would hope that they reverse the changes they’ve proposed and introduce a two year freeze like we’ve been demanding for the past year, with further consultation between students and university management in the future.

“It’s probably the most expensive student accommodation there is in the country, it’s going to put lots of people off coming to Durham.

“The university’s always going on about how great its collegiate environment is, but were being excluded from this environment due to the high fees.”image

The recent accommodation fee rises are a three per cent increase, bringing the total amount to over £7,000 a year.

This is one of the highest in the country, with it being £2,000 more than the catered accommodation in nearby universities Newcastle and York, and £1,500 more than the highest student maintenance loan.

International fees have also increased, with them rising by 30 per cent since 2012.

Katie, from Collingwood, said: “It’s really unfair they’ve raised the fees, it’s much harder for those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and everyone should have an equal right to education.”image

Chris, a music student, said: “I have to work a ridiculous number of hours [in extra jobs] to afford it, it completely undermines the idea of the university. The fact that the fees are being raised two grand above the maximum loan, I don’t understand how the university can economically justify that.”

Crystal, a PPE student from Aidan’s, said, “Education should be something which is granted on the basis of merit. Durham is such a good uni that everyone should have the chance to come here if they have the academic ability.”image

Once arriving at the Science Site, the mourners lined up and gave various eulogies in memory of affordable education. Some recited poems, and a rendition of Forever Young by Bob Dylan finished off the ceremony.