FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A group of 144 people, comprising Exeter College students, Exeter University staff and students as well as members of the public have occupied a lecture theatre in the Peter Chalk Centre on Exeter University Campus. The occupation took place after a loud, visible and high-spirited march which saw University and College students rally in Bedford Square.
A list of requests have been drawn up, and those occupying are calling for a full, independent re-assessment of the spending cuts to education as well as a public statement from Exeter University Vice Chancellor and President of Universities UK, Steve Smith, affirming that he does not represent the views of staff and students at Exeter University.
David, 24, an MSc student at Exeter University said, ‘this occupation is of huge symbolic importance at a time when education is under attack and it is Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor who’s leading the charge.’ A member of the public, 43, present at the occupation, said, ‘I live in Exeter and give my full support to students occupying this lecture theatre. We have to reject the cuts!’ A member of staff who wished to remain anonymous added, ‘the staff at this university stand in solidarity with the students at this occupation. These cuts affect all of us and our ability to teach.’
The action is part of a wider student movement which has seen at least 27 universities occupied across the UK. Exeter students have been sending messages of support to all involved across the UK in opposing the planned education cuts, ahead of tomorrow’s crucial Commons vote.
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