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University of California delays tuition increase after student protests, political conflict

Several hundred University of California San Diego students gathered on the walkway in front of Geisel Library Tuesday Nov. 18, 2014 in a sit-in to protest a proposed hike in tuition of up to five percent for the next five years. Amani Proctor, a third-year student from Fresno is shadowed on a sign she holds up during the protest. (AP Photo/The U-T San Diego, John Gastaldo, File)

Several hundred University of California San Diego students gathered on the walkway in front of Geisel Library Tuesday Nov. 18, 2014 in a sit-in to protest a proposed hike in tuition of up to five percent for the next five years. Amani Proctor, a third-year student from Fresno is shadowed on a sign she holds up during the protest. (AP Photo/The U-T San Diego, John Gastaldo, File) 

The University of California has decided to delay its proposed 5 percent tuition increase from summer quarter until the fall semester amid ongoing budget discussions and student protests.

“We are doing this as a good-faith gesture, optimistic that the ongoing negotiations will bear fruit,” UC President Janet Napolitano said Wednesday, according to the Sacramento Bee. “As a matter of fairness, we want potential summer quarter students to enroll free from any uncertainty and unpredictability inherent in a fluid and still unresolved budget situation.”

UC approved a controversial tuition plan last November that would allow the university to raise tuition by up to 5 percent annually for each of the next five years unless the state contributes more to the university system. Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed an increase of $119 million to UC’s state funding next year, but the university wants an additional $100 million to “buy out” the tuition hike,  the Sacramento Bee reported.

Students protested the annual tuition hikes back in November when these discussions first started, organizing sit-ins and marches.

Students have complained that the school’s plan would make it too much of a year-to-year judgement call and not give them enough stability.

The protests were led by a group called “The Open UC.”

“We love our school, but we need it to be affordable. It is our hope that someday everyone in the world will have the opportunity to attend a school like Cal without having to make enormous sacrifices. But this is a long-term goal. Right now, we have a tangible and important issue of education here in California,” the group wrote in a press release at that time.

“The UC system employs some of the greatest minds, produces some of the best students, and has been the foundation for the flourishing of the state. Reinvestment in the University of California is the greatest investment for the future of the state. An educated public is paramount to a successful and effective government. A school is not public if it is not accessible to a large portion of the population. Let’s make our representatives accountable for representing our interests, and re-fund the public university system for the future of California, the U.S., and the world. We stand in solidarity with students everywhere calling for affordable public education.”


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