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STUDENTS: WE ARE NOT HAPPY CAMPUS; 'Occupy Warwick' camp set up over education funding.

Byline: Lucy Lynch

STUDENTS at Warwick University calling for a better deal for students and staff have set up a protest camp on campus.

There are 18 tents on a lawn in the centre of the Gibbet Hill campus.

The protest is being called Occupy Warwick and is part of the same movement behind well-publicised protest camps in New York and outside St Paul's Cathedral in London. The students are calling for the university's vice chancellor Nigel Thrift to visit the camp and discuss the protesters' aims.

The protesters are calling for an end to government policy of creating a market in university courses.

They want a guarantee that Warwick University will not close any course or make cuts to the library or student support service.

They also want guarantees that there will be no cuts to access schemes and foundation courses which help bright applicants from families with no background of going to university.

They want the university to stay as a not-for-profit institution and do not want anybody to be punished for taking part in the protest.

They also intend to support public sector workers due to strike on Wednesday.

The students say they do not know how long they will stay for.

They have organised a programme of discussions and lectures, some of them given by sympathetic university staff members.

PhD student Rudh Pearce said: "The most we have had here is 70 for one of our meetings and we have had about 20 overnight.

"We have had a visit from the head of security who asked us not to disrupt anything.

"They would like us to go but they are not putting any real pressure on us. Our protest is about how universities are funded. We are also part of the wider Occupy movement."

Warwick University spokesman Peter Dunn said: "We have had occupations before and I'm sure we will have them again about other things.

"We are reasonably relaxed about it.

It is not a vast inconvenience to us.

"They are having academic lectures and talks and we are leaving them to it."

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IN-TENTS CAMPAIGN: The Occupy Warwick protest at the Gibbet Hill campus
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Nov 26, 2011
Words:361
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