Education & Family

Students at UCL told to leave occupation

UCL campus
Image caption Students have been staging an occupation at University College London

University authorities have warned students staging an occupation in London that they must leave or face legal action to remove them.

University College London says it will seek a court order to evict students unless they leave voluntarily.

Students have been occupying part of the university for eight days in a protest against raising tuition fees.

The occupiers are now considering a reply, but are not believed to be showing signs of leaving.

There have been between 100 and 200 people taking part in the protest, which has had visiting speakers, musicians and lecturers.

Messages of support have come from the academic Noam Chomsky and musician Billy Bragg.

This has been part of a wave of university occupations and street protests by students, with three major demonstrations in November.

Students at another part of UCL, the Slade School of Fine Art, began their own occupation on Tuesday.

'Strong feelings'

Students at UCL have been occupying the Jeremy Bentham Room, which they have used as a base for their campaign against the coalition government's plans for higher education.

They want the university authorities to join their condemnation of plans to raise tuition fees to up to £9,000 per year and cut university teaching budgets.

The university has now told students to end the occupation.

If they fail to leave, the university has told students: "Your occupation will be unlawful and UCL will be entitled to commence legal proceedings against you for an order requiring you to vacate any part of UCL's campus."

The message from the university thanks students for the peaceful nature of the protest and "acknowledges that you feel very strongly about the proposed cuts to higher education and rise in tuition fees".

There have been occupations this month at a number of universities, including Newcastle, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Nottingham, Oxford, School of Oriental and African Studies, Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan, London South Bank, University of the West of England Bristol, Cambridge and Cardiff.

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