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U.K. Students in University Fees Protest (25th November, 2010)


 

Tens of thousands of students across the U.K. took part in protests on Wednesday against their government’s increase in tuition fees. They were speaking out against the three-fold rise in the prices universities can charge, and voicing their opposition to the scrapping of benefits that will harm poor students. The nationwide protest was organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC). High school and university students, teachers and lecturers took to the streets to demonstrate. Around 10,000 protestors rallied in London, where there were arrests after ugly clashes left a police officer with a broken arm. The protests were largely trouble-free, unlike those two weeks earlier in which the ruling Conservative Party headquarters was attacked.

Britain’s ruling coalition government have made many cuts to university education, while at the same time allowing universities to increase tuition fees from $5,624 a year to $14,400. They say these measures are necessary to reduce the country’s budget deficit. Most of the public fury is directed at the junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, whose election pledge earlier this year was to abolish tuition and maintain transport benefits for students from low-income families. Their leader has done a total U-turn and broken these promises. Until the late 1990s, British students did not need to pay tuition, and many poorer students received weekly living allowances from the government. Many protestors believe this will kill opportunities for the poor. They carried banners saying: “R.I.P. My Degree.”


WARM-UPS

1. UNIVERSITY FEES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about university fees. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

students / protests / tuition fees / voicing opposition / lecturers / clashes / broken arm / ruling coalition / university education / budget deficit / fury / election pledges / RIP

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. PROTESTS: What would you protest about? Complete this table and share what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners and share again.

 

What would you do?

Why?

Cuts in education

 

 

Going to war

 

 

Loss of religious freedom

 

 

Tax increases

 

 

Nuclear power plant in your town

 

 

Immigration policy

 

 

4. UNIVERSITY: Students A strongly believe university should be free; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FREE: Which of these should be free? Rank them and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most important at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • education
  • public transport
  • school meals
  • museums
  • hospitals
  • dentists
  • water
  • Internet

6. STUDENT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘student’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Hundreds of thousands of students protested across the U.K.

T / F

b.

U.K. universities are allowed to triple their fees.

T / F

c.

High school students and teachers also joined in the protests.

T / F

d.

Several policemen suffered broken bones in the demonstrations.

T / F

e.

The U.K. government has cut its funding to its universities.

T / F

f.

The British public are most angry with the ruling Conservative Party.

T / F

g.

U.K. students paid no tuition fees throughout most of last century.

T / F

h.

The government has increased living allowances for poorer students.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

took part

a.

getting rid of

2

protests

b.

payments

3.

scrapping

c.

fights

4.

clashes

d.

governing

5.

headquarters

e.

anger

6.

ruling

f.

participated

7.

measures

g.

promise

8.

fury

h.

demonstrations

9.

pledge

i.

actions

10.

allowances

j.

HQ

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

students across the U.K. took

a.

fold rise in the prices

2

the three-

b.

pledge

3.

opposition to the scrapping

c.

living allowances

4.

there were arrests after

d.

headquarters was attacked

5.

the ruling Conservative Party

e.

are necessary

6.

Britain’s ruling

f.

ugly clashes

7.

these measures

g.

part in protests

8.

election

h.

a total U-turn

9.

Their leader has done

i.

of benefits

10.

poorer students received weekly

j.

coalition government

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Tens of thousands of students across the U.K. ____________ part in protests on Wednesday ____________ their government’s increase in tuition fees. They were speaking out against the three-____________ rise in the prices universities can charge, and voicing their opposition to the scrapping of benefits that will ____________ poor students. The nationwide protest was organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC). High school and university students, teachers and ____________ took to the streets to demonstrate. Around 10,000 protestors rallied in London, where there were arrests after ____________ clashes left a police officer with a broken arm. The protests were largely trouble-____________, unlike those two weeks earlier in which the ruling Conservative Party headquarters was ____________.

 

 

 

harm
ugly
attacked
against
lecturers
took
free
fold

Britain’s ____________ coalition government have made many cuts to university education, while at the same time ____________ universities to increase tuition fees from $5,624 a year to $14,400. They say these measures are necessary to ____________ the country’s budget deficit. Most of the public fury is directed at the junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, whose election ____________ earlier this year was to ____________ tuition and maintain transport benefits for students from low-income families. Their leader has done a total U-____________ and broken these promises. Until the late 1990s, British students did not need to pay tuition, and many poorer students received ____________ living allowances from the government. Many protestors believe this will ____________ opportunities for the poor. They carried banners saying: “R.I.P. My Degree.”

 

 

abolish
reduce
ruling
kill
pledge
turn
allowing
weekly

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Tens of thousands of students across the U.K. _____________________ on Wednesday against their government’s increase in tuition fees. They were speaking _____________________ -fold rise in the prices universities can charge, and voicing their opposition to the _____________________ that will harm poor students. The nationwide protest was organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC). High school and university students, teachers and lecturers _____________________ demonstrate. Around 10,000 protestors rallied in London, where there were _____________________ left a police officer with a broken arm. The protests _______________________, unlike those two weeks earlier in which the ruling Conservative Party headquarters was attacked.

Britain’s ruling coalition government ______________________ to university education, _____________________ allowing universities to increase tuition fees from $5,624 a year to $14,400. They say these measures are necessary to reduce the country’s budget deficit. Most of the _____________________ at the junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, whose election pledge earlier this year _____________________ and maintain transport benefits for students from low-income families. Their leader has _____________________ and broken these promises. Until the late 1990s, British students did not need to pay tuition, and many poorer students received _____________________ from the government. Many protestors believe this will kill opportunities for the poor. They carried banners saying: “R.I.P. My Degree.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘tuition’ and ‘fee’.

tuition

fee

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • thousands
  • rise
  • harm
  • lecturers
  • arm
  • earlier
  • while
  • measures
  • fury
  • low
  • living
  • banners

STUDENT UNIVERSITY FEES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about university fees in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

UNIVERSITY FEES DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘university’?

c)

How important are universities?

d)

What would society be like without universities?

e)

Do you think universities should be free?

f)

Are fee-paying universities better quality than that are free?

g)

Where are the world’s best universities?

h)

Are the years students spend at college the best years of their life?

i)

What do you think of the cuts to education in the U.K.?

j)

Is it OK for students to protest in the streets against education cuts?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do education cuts say about a government?

c)

What’s your image of British universities?

d)

What are universities like in your country?

e)

What do you think of politicians who break their promises?

f)

Should governments provide students from low-income families with free university education?

g)

Most countries make students take out loans. Do you think the U.K. should also do this?

h)

Will taking away living allowances kill education opportunities for the poor?

i)

What do you think of the banner “R.I.P. My Degree”?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a British student?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Tens (1) ____ thousands of students across the U.K. took part in protests on Wednesday against their government’s increase in tuition fees. They were speaking out against the (2) ____-fold rise in the prices universities can charge, and voicing their opposition to the (3) ____ of benefits that will harm poor students. The nationwide protest was organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC). High school and university students, teachers and lecturers (4) ____ to the streets to demonstrate. Around 10,000 protestors rallied in London, where there were arrests after ugly clashes (5) ____ a police officer with a broken arm. The protests were largely trouble-(6) ____, unlike those two weeks earlier in which the ruling Conservative Party headquarters was attacked.

Britain’s ruling coalition government have made many cuts to university education, (7) ____ at the same time allowing universities to increase tuition fees from $5,624 a year to $14,400. They say these (8) ____ are necessary to reduce the country’s budget deficit. Most of the public fury is directed at the junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, whose election (9) ____ earlier this year was to abolish tuition and maintain transport benefits for students from low-income families. Their leader has done a total (10) ____-turn and broken these promises. Until the late 1990s, British students did not need to pay tuition, and many poorer students received weekly (11) ____ allowances from the government. Many protestors believe this will kill opportunities for (12) ____ poor. They carried banners saying: “R.I.P. My Degree.”

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

if

(b)

for

(c)

from

(d)

of

2.

(a)

triple

(b)

three

(c)

thrice

(d)

threes

3.

(a)

scrapping

(b)

scraping

(c)

scripting

(d)

scaring

4.

(a)

gave

(b)

did

(c)

took

(d)

were

5.

(a)

wasted

(b)

departed

(c)

left

(d)

gave

6.

(a)

freely

(b)

free

(c)

freedom

(d)

frees

7.

(a)

while

(b)

whist

(c)

awhile

(d)

wily

8.

(a)

measurements

(b)

measured

(c)

measurement

(d)

measures

9.

(a)

ledge

(b)

pledge

(c)

hedge

(d)

wedge

10.

(a)

O

(b)

J

(c)

V

(d)

U

11.

(a)

alive

(b)

life

(c)

living

(d)

lively

12.

(a)

the

(b)

a

(c)

them

(d)

those

WRITING

Write about university fees for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about university fees. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. UNIVERSITY: Make a poster about university. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. STUDENTS: Write a magazine article about university. Include imaginary interviews with students from different countries .

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the British leader. Ask him three questions about university fees. Give him three pieces of advice on what he should tell students. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

took part

a.

participated

2

protests

b.

demonstrations

3.

scrapping

c.

getting rid of

4.

clashes

d.

fights

5.

headquarters

e.

HQ

6.

ruling

f.

governing

7.

measures

g.

actions

8.

fury

h.

anger

9.

pledge

i.

promise

10.

allowances

j.

payments

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

students across the U.K. took

a.

part in protests

2

the three-

b.

fold rise in the prices

3.

opposition to the scrapping

c.

of benefits

4.

there were arrests after

d.

ugly clashes

5.

the ruling Conservative Party

e.

headquarters was attacked

6.

Britain’s ruling

f.

coalition government

7.

these measures

g.

are necessary

8.

election

h.

pledge

9.

Their leader has done

i.

a total U-turn

10.

poorer students received weekly

j.

living allowances

GAP FILL:

U.K. students in university fees protest

Tens of thousands of students across the U.K. took part in protests on Wednesday against their government’s increase in tuition fees. They were speaking out against the three-fold rise in the prices universities can charge, and voicing their opposition to the scrapping of benefits that will harm poor students. The nationwide protest was organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC). High school and university students, teachers and lecturers took to the streets to demonstrate. Around 10,000 protestors rallied in London, where there were arrests after ugly clashes left a police officer with a broken arm. The protests were largely trouble-free, unlike those two weeks earlier in which the ruling Conservative Party headquarters was attacked.

Britain’s ruling coalition government have made many cuts to university education, while at the same time allowing universities to increase tuition fees from $5,624 a year to $14,400. They say these measures are necessary to reduce the country’s budget deficit. Most of the public fury is directed at the junior coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, whose election pledge earlier this year was to abolish tuition and maintain transport benefits for students from low-income families. Their leader has done a total U-turn and broken these promises. Until the late 1990s, British students did not need to pay tuition, and many poorer students received weekly living allowances from the government. Many protestors believe this will kill opportunities for the poor. They carried banners saying: “R.I.P. My Degree.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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