A small group of demonstrators in central London turned violent, Sky News reported. They surrounded a police van, trying to turn it over, as other students moved in and tried to stop them.
"I didn't want other people to get injured -- people don't realize that when you rock a van it can fall over," Zoe Williams said. "And the cause we are here for today is not about hating the police."
Protests took place across the United Kingdom from Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland to Cardiff in Wales and Plymouth in southwestern England, the BBC said. Students at the two most celebrated universities, Oxford and Cambridge, joined in.
Some secondary school students walked out of class for the day.
The coalition government has proposed increasing fees to as much as 9,000 pounds ($14,000) a year.
Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, urged students to take a second look at the plan, which ties fees to income.
"Examine our proposals before taking to the streets. Listen and look before you march and shout," Clegg said.