Government reforms have made university system 'fairer'
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has released this statement ahead of a student protest against cuts to university funding:
The Government's reforms have made the university system fairer and more progressive.
Most students will not pay upfront to study; there are more generous loans, grants and bursaries for those poorer families and loans are only repaid once graduates have jobs and are earning over £21,000.
Students, like other citizens, have the right to participate in peaceful protest.
– Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesman
The NUS have said young people were being left with a "sense of desperation" for their futures amid major changes to education and a tough job market.
The prospect of leaving university thousands of pounds in debt and facing a scramble for graduate jobs was a major concern, the union warned.
Mr Burns said there were strong feelings on campuses around the country about education reforms, including the move to treble tuition fees and financial support for students as well as youth unemployment.
Today's students know they are going to be "tens of thousands of pounds in debt before they even graduate and they know there's little prospect of graduate employment," he said.
"There's a sense of desperation that people have. They're slowly seeing opportunities being taken away and are powerless to do anything about it."