Students confront Baldwin summit


Students confront Baldwin summit

By Nick Fredman

SYDNEY — Angry students broke through police lines and into the Hotel Nikko at Kings Cross in a 500-strong August 23 protest against a "Higher Education Summit" attended by federal education minister Peter Baldwin.

Representatives of government, business and university bureaucracies paid $995 a head to attend the summit at the five-star hotel, where they discussed topics such as "exporting education", "developing

stronger links between higher education and business" and "running academic institutions as a business".

The protest was organised by activists from several campuses and the state branches of the academic unions and the National Union of Students. After Baldwin refused to meet with the students, several were arrested in scuffles.

As the students left the building, several more were arrested amid charges by mounted police. The protest continued at Kings Cross and Central police stations, where most of the students waited for the nine who had been arrested.

The students wanted to discuss matters such as fees for postgraduate and overseas students, the increasing restriction of education in recent years, escalating costs, overcrowding and the steady encroachment of the inequitable user pays principle