National student news

National student news

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Image credit: The Daily Telegraph
Image credit: The Daily Telegraph

Warwick students hold self-run lectures

A group of history students at the University of Warwick have provoked debate by organising self-run lectures in the absence of striking tutors.

The group of undergraduates, keen to not fall behind on their studies, have organised older students to run their lectures whilst academics strike.

Many peers and tutors have noted the students’ actions as anti-strike behaviour, whilst the complicit students defend the initiative as merely a study group on a large scale.

History student Neil Sapat said: “This is an argument between the staff and governing body, not the students and it is not right that we are jeopardised. It is unfortunate that the education system seems to be neglecting its primary aim in the face of monetary conflicts.”

Sally Hunt, the general secretary of the union representing academics, UCU, said: “We understand the frustrations of students who want to get on with their education and share their concerns about further disruption. However, we have tried to negotiate with the employers for months to improve their miserly pay offer of 1 per cent.”

There is a call for students to contact their vice-chancellor or principal and ask them to lobby the national employers’ negotiating body, UCEA, to urgently reopen negotiations.

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Student protest in Birmingham leads to 13 arrests

On 29 January, protests broke out on the University of Birmingham’s Edgbaston campus as students supporting Defend Education Birmingham rallied against rising tuition fees and low staff wages.

The peaceful protest escalated into violence as the University of Birmingham claim smoke bombs and fireworks were thrown, doors smashed down and staff injured.

A spokeswoman for the University of Birmingham said “the actions of Defend Education Birmingham, a group which is not affiliated to the Guild of Students or in any way representative of the student body, included defacing buildings and property”, and that they had “no choice” but to call in the police.

According to Defend Education Birmingham, after the protest, around 100 students were “kettled” upon exiting the Great Hall which they had occupied.

West Midlands Police said protestors were arrested on suspicion of assaulting security guards, trespass and criminal damage. An email from Dr Chris Twine, Director of Student Services, stated that the five students “have been suspended from study and barred from University premises with immediate effect”.

 Sarah Gough, News Team

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