business and finance

Student occupations and protests against university commercialisation in London

Scene inside Deptford Old Town Hall where Occupation banner greets visitors on first floor balcony. Image: Emily Browne

Scene inside Deptford Old Town Hall where Occupation banner greets visitors on first floor balcony. Image: Emily Browne

A campaign of occupying management buildings and ‘passive’ workshop protests by students is underway across London universities.

They are protesting against the ‘commercialisation of our universities, and the commodification of education.’

Actions and events appear to be centred at Goldsmiths, the London School of Economics, King’s College London and University of Arts London at St Martin’s College.

The Goldsmiths occupation is in Deptford Old Town Hall- the building used by the College for all its central management offices.

The students’ protesting there say:

We stand in solidarity with the other members of the Free University of London, and with the current wave of university occupations.  […]

We seek to establish an alternative vision of education, free from restrictions, oppression and the whims of the market.

We have taken the space and plan to use it productively in accordance with a more democratic form of education.

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The Occupy Goldsmiths students outline their demands at a meeting in Deptford Town Hall

At King’s College London in the Strand, a group of ‘autonomous students’ have occupied the Council Room on the Strand Campus.

The students have set out a range of ‘provisional demands’ that includes reforms in ethical investment policy, provision of mental health services, and ‘democratic representation of the King’s community.’

Occupation 'workshop' by students at King's College London. Image: Occupy KCL

Occupation ‘workshop’ by students at King’s College London. Image: Occupy KCL

At the London School of Economics students presented a day long programme of workshops in the University’s Vera Anstey Suite.

Occupy LSE style- a day of   workshops.

Occupy LSE style- a day of workshops.

The Goldsmiths occupy group is distributing a leaflet demanding the recruitment of more counsellors, ending redundancies, and stopping the outsourcing of services.

It also calls for a capping of the maximum salary ratio at 1 to 6, and moving the senior management team to Warmington Tower to ‘free up their spacious offices for teaching space.’

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