UK: Students to shame MPs who don't oppose fees rise

Student leaders have promised to name and shame every MP who refuses to sign a pledge to oppose a rise in university tuition fees, the Guardian has learned, writes Jessica Shepherd. In a letter to the Guardian last week, the student leaders of more than 85 universities and higher education institutes in the UK pledged to break the two main political parties' "cosy consensus of silence" on fees.

A review, launched on Monday by the government and the Conservative Party will look into whether fees - currently £3,225 a year in England - should rise to up to £7,000. However, it will not report until after the general election, prompting accusations that politicians have conspired to stop it becoming an election issue.

Wes Streeting, the president of the National Union of Students, who wrote the letter, said politicians needed the votes of the nearly two million UK students at universities in what looks likely to be a close-run general election in May. The NUS will send all students a list of the MPs who refuse to sign the pledge against higher tuition fees in the new year, ahead of the election. In 2004, a student backlash against top-up fees almost brought Tony Blair's government down and saw many pro-fees MPs lose their seats.
Full report on The Guardian site