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King’s students occupy Strand campus over ‘increasingly neoliberal education system’

A GROUP of King’s students have started an occupation at the Strand campus as part of what they say is “a nationwide protest against our increasingly neoliberal, undemocratic and restrictive education system”.

They have gathered in the Council Room at the King’s building “to unite campaigns at King’s that are demanding reversals of the many unethical and regressive policies currently being committed at our university”.

The protest follows a wave of occupations across the UK and some parts of Europe, including Central Saint Martin’s, London School of Economics, and the University of Amsterdam last month.

Like other demonstrations in the capital, Occupy KCL are protesting under the banner of the Free University of London.

The group are to release a list of their demands to the College later today, and have already published a document outlining their main principles and reasons for demonstration.

After initially barricading themselves in the room, the group were told by College security that no more people could enter. However King’s is now facilitating the occupation, and those demonstrating may enter and leave at will.

There has been increasing opposition to the prioritisation of wealth and the business-like nature of the UK’s universities so far this year. Various campaigns such as Divestment, GTA pay, the London Living wage campaign, Free Education and appeals for greater student representation on College Council boards have been making waves since September.

Both Unison and UCU (the University and College Union) have expressed their support for the occupation. Unison is the main union representative for many contracted workers at King’s.

The group are planning to “create a constructive and open space to discuss how an alternative and free education can be sought”.

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