As of 8.30am this morning, students of Aberystwyth University started a teach-in in the main lecture hall on Penglais Campus.
A group set up the occupation with more students, staff and members of the local community joining in the event throughout the day. Set up by the facebook-based student group 'Aber Students Against The Cuts' the occupation is targeting the university council meeting at 1pm today with a series of demands surrounding the university's reactions to proposed cuts in higher education budgets and the raise in tuition fees.
The group calls upon, amongst others, Noel Lloyd, the Vice Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, to condemn the proposed funding cuts and the rise in tuition fees. The group also calls on the University management to pledge not to seek job and departmental losses as a result of the funding cuts.
Meanwhile, in the lecture hall, lectures, workshops and entertainment has been planned by members of the group, other students, staff and members of the local community.
“We are creating a Free University in our occupied space – that's what a teach-in is all about” explained Kieran Ford, spokesperson for today's action. “We are committed to not disrupting any lectures or planned events in the space, but we will use all other time in the room to take education in our grasp and show the university management that we need, want and deserve them to be on our side.”
Aber Students Against The Cuts have already organised marches, flash mobs, demonstrations, vigils and a petition which gained almost 1,500 signatures in just three days.
Kieran Ford added,“Today's message to the university management not only demands a pledge to protect Aberystwyth and university education in a wider sense, it's also a message that come the new year, Aberystwyth students will continue their campaign of action against cuts to higher education.
'Thursday's vote in parliament has not halted our momentum for change.”