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Protesting students attack Prince Charles' car

Last updated on: December 10, 2010 15:13 IST

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Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall were attacked in their car on Thursday night by an unruly group of students who were protesting on the streets of London against a steep hike in university fees.

The highly controversial issue of hike in student fees was voted through the House of Commons, while thousands of student protesters attacked buildings and public property in Westminster village and elsewhere.


Image: A police officer stands inside the Treasury building during a protest in Westminster and (inset) Prince Charles
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters
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The new fees, applicable for British and European Union students from September 2012, will see their annual fees rise from 3,290 pounds to nearly 9,000 pounds.

This will bring the fees applicable to British/EU students in line with the amount charged for Indian and other non-EU students.

Indian students are currently charged 9,000 pounds and above for one-year Masters courses.


Image: Demonstrators clash with the police during a protest in Westminster
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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The prince and the duchess, who were travelling to the London Palladium for the annual Royal Variety Performance, were unharmed as their car was attacked by violent protesters.

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was 'shocking and regrettable' that protesters had attacked the prince's car.

The royal couple was safe and attended the performance as scheduled, said an official spokesperson.


Image: Demonstrators stand on an underground sign during a protest in Westminster
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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During the voting in the House of Commons, many Liberal Democrat Members of Parliament voted against the bills, highlighting the divisions in the ruling coalition over the controversial issue.

Image: Demonstrators clash with the police during a protest in Westminster
Photographs: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
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Raising the fees is part of the Cameron government's measures to streamline university funding that include a major cut in public funding to universities.

Due to the cuts, some universities are likely to close down altogether while many non-science subjects will struggle to continue in their present form, leading to several job losses for lecturers and university staff.


Image: A demonstrator flexes his muscles during a protest at the Tate Britain gallery in central London
Photographs: Andrew Winning/Reuters
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