*(Photo: Rachel Clark)
Students from across Sydney have assembled to protest proposed hikes, cuts and changes to university fees and HECS debts.
These proposed changes come as the education sector feels the sting of COVID-19, with reduced international enrolments and the switch to online learning resulting in a loss of revenue.
Under the proposals put forward by Education Minister Dan Tehan, arts and humanities subjects could see fee hikes, while science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subject fees would be reduced. These changes have been proposed in the interest of increasing graduate skills in areas of “future jobs growth”.
Central News had a team of reporters in the field providing updates throughout the afternoon
4 pm: Few protesters are left on campus, with most having moved on, bringing the national day of action to an early conclusion.
In addition to fines and warnings, protesters were led away and detained during the afternoon’s events.
In a statement to Central News, NSW Police stated that no arrests were made, but 10 infringement notices were given for breaches of COVID-19 Public Health Orders.
2:30pm: Some protestors have been issued fines by NSW Police for failing to comply with orders relating to COVID-19.
The Facebook event listed for the protest stated that the protest would “adhere to social distancing guidelines.” This included encouraging attendees to “bring a mask, hand sanitiser, and maintain 1.5 metres distance from other attendees”, as well as not attending if feeling unwell or are a person at risk.
1.30pm: Police appear to be dispersing protesters, ending the University Fees Hike Day of Action after only 30 minutes. Emilia Roux reports
Photos: Rachel Clark / Mark Kriedemann
1:11pm: The police presence has become the target of protestors’ chants
“COPS OFF CAMPUS” – the start of the National Student Protest has been intercepted by cops, students are telling cops to give the them right to protest against fee hikes @CentralNewsUTS pic.twitter.com/8A3LG60dg6
— Nadya Labiba (@nadrlabiba) August 28, 2020
1:00pm: The University Fees Hike Day of Action has begun in Sydney with students protesting at Fisher Library
(Photo: Mark Kriedemann)