Aussie police use pepper spray on students
13 February 2015, 12:01
Sydney - Australian police used pepper spray on a group of students demonstrating against higher education reforms on Friday, a media report said.
Broadcaster ABC said police intervened when 40 students tried to force their way into a venue in Sydney where Education Minister Christopher Pyne was giving a speech.
Television footage showed the scuffles between the two sides at the Sydney Masonic Centre and a distraught woman identified as National Union of Students representative Ridah Hassan.
"My face is on fire. Why can't Chris Pyne face up to the fact that students are against his education reforms," Hassan said.
Students have for months been protesting the government's plans to deregulate universities.
Critics of the plan that will see a cut in state funding to give universities the right to set their own fees say it will put tertiary education out of the reach of many.