Article in the Times Higher Education section

This article, from the UCL occupiers, appears in the Times Higher Education section:

“Inside the University College London occupation, the atmosphere is surprisingly relaxed. By candlelight, young faces enjoy a well-earned cup of tea with their supper of ham sandwiches, prepared by the kitchen team. Suddenly, a threat is issued via the internet and we all rise, prepared for contest. Members of the University of Oxford occupation have challenged us to a dance-off. It’s an unorthodox approach to University Challenge, but we take it seriously: a new working group for choreography is set up to go alongside those working on security, maintenance, media and demands. The night, we hope, will be ours.

Weightier issues brought us here. Between 200 and 300 UCL students staged a sit-in of the Jeremy Bentham Room starting at 12.30pm yesterday, and voted to occupy it indefinitely in protest at both local and national attempts to restructure our higher education system. What brought us here? How did it get to this? We are told that the raising of tuition fees to £9,000 per annum, the marketisation of higher education and the commodification of knowledge and learning are necessary, given the current economic climate. Yet as the Higher Education Policy Institute has pointed out, such a reform will actually increase public expenditure across the next two parliaments. It is ideology, not necessity, that ultimately drives the coalition’s proposals.

Read on.

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