Monday, 1 March 2010


Over 200 staff and students at the University of Westminster have protested, stormed the board of governors meeting and are currently in occupation, vice-chancellors office, in regard to recently proposed tutoring and administrative job cuts.

Management are planning to slash 285 jobs by April and this follows the closures of the ceramics department and the nursery. Recently, over 150 staff and students placed a unanimous vote of no confidence in the vice-chancellor and his management at a rally addressing Westminster's severe proposed job cuts, on February, 17.

The vice-chancellor has openly declared that job cuts are the initiative of the governors, not his. Well, demonstrators asked him for themselves, after storming past security and into the governor’s meeting. They were greeted by a board of governors who were ‘quaking in their boots;’ shortly after students persuaded Geoffrey Petts, the VC, to stick around and answer some questions which he hesitated to on the first instance but then proceed to do with a full bureaucratic and dismissive tone.

Our demands to the vice-chancellor are:

A) Issue a statement on the avoidance of redundancies

B) Make freely available to the unions in the university appropriate financial documents

C) Produce alternative, sustainable plans for addressing the financial gap over the next several years.

Join us, over 40 students are currently occupying at Regents Campus, V-C's office!

Many thanks to Sky Yarlett for the pics!



  1. Solidarity to Westminster students from Save UCL!

  2. Solidarity from Cambridge

  3. Solidarity from the Stop the Cuts campaign at Sussex!! Good on you!!

  4. Solidarity from Brighton !

  5. Congrats and solidarity from UCU members at Goldsmiths!

  6. Nice one guys... massive solidarity from Sussex, we've just posted the news on our blog.

  7. The university called a lot of big security guys, all the security guys are stupid (or they act as if) and they are stopping students from going inside the uni to support other students. I was inside and they promised if I need to go out, let me back in (as I am on wheelchair, I needed to get my medication) but some stupid security man started fighting with me and stopped jack and I to go back inside
    stay strong guys and don't give up.

  8. Solidarity from university of regensburg. At the same time, today we occupied the university administration building in regensburg! Since our university president keeps ignoring our protest against tuition fees and financial cuts in education, this was our last resort. Don't give up!

  9. Solidarity from Edinburgh! You're an inspiration guys :)
    Katherine McMahon (Edinburgh University Students' Association Exec member)

  10. Solidarity and much love for your cause! From Joana & Louis @ Oppose LCC Course Redundancies

  11. what can non-Westminster student/staff do to support you guys?

  12. Today (Tuesday 2nd March) there will be a demo outside Regent Street campus at 12 to support the ongoing occupation. Come and join the fight!

  13. Although we can't support you physically, we are publicising your struggle here in Barcelona,

    In solidarity!

    Comisión Internacional Autónoma, Barcelona
    comisioninternacional (at)

  14. Many thanks for using my pictures.


    Sky Yarlett

  15. More solidarity from Stop the Cuts at Sussex!

  16. From Rachel Archer 02 March at 13:08
    hi Clare,

    can you pass this on to westminster please?

    we got news of the westminster occupation at our organising meeting for the UEA day of action. The occupation also coincided with a very concerned email from the dean of students asking us for a private meeting! westminster has sent shocks across senior management throughout the country!

    UEA fight fees and cuts wholeheartedly support westminster! It has given our day of action a huge amount of energy and am sure it will a be wonderful day.

    It is great to know that our activity is genuinly a concern to university management!

    all the best,

    UEA fight fees and cuts!

  17. Westminster take note -

    UCL Provost's (Prof Malcolm Grant) Newsletter - 30th November 2009

    "I’ve had a further response from a colleague on the Government’s characterisation of students as customers or consumers, which is worth quoting in full: “In David Hare’s play on the financial crisis at the National Theatre there is a memorable moment when the Adair Turner figure destroys the ubiquitous assumption that business people, because of their business skills, know best how to run public services such as health and education, with the observation that firms are comparatively very simple institutions. They have a single objective function: to make money, and are universally judged (provided that they avoid reputational damage) on the achievement of that objective. Health and education institutions, on the other hand, have quintessentially multi-criteria objectives, achievement of which inevitably involves judgments about the balance to be achieved between different, and potentially competing, outcomes. It is not at all clear that managers who succeed in the single objective world of profitability will make good judgments in the world of multiple social objectives. It strikes me that this argument could be extended to the consumer view of education, in which, by analogy, students are either seeking to maximize utility, or their (suitably discounted) income-earning potential. Neither objective has anything to do with any classical or modern version of the purpose of education that I have ever heard of (except perhaps that of the extreme neoclassical version of human capital economics).”

  18. Photos from the Occupation: , email me to request usage at julesmattsson [at]

  19. Commiserations on having acquired Geoff Petts as VC - we remember him all too well from Birmingham Uni!

    Congratulations to all in occupation and I wish you every success in your struggle to save jobs and protect education.

    Sue Blackwell (assistant secretary, Bham Uni UCU)
    (former lecturer at Westminster, and NATFHE branch secretary, when it was still PCL, 1988-90)

  20. URGENT: Call for Solidarity from Sussex Stop the Cuts

    Just days after the University Management called riot police onto campus to break up a peaceful student protest, six activists in the Stop the Cuts campaign on Sussex campus have been suspended. The campaign is fighting to defend 115 lecturers who are facing redundancy. On the same day as the UCU lecturers' union voted overwhelmingly for strike action - on the biggest turnout in the union's history - the Vice Chancellor has invoked a dranconian statute in the University's rulebook to indefinitely suspend six students without due process or evidence. This is a blatant attempt to intimidate students who are opposing management plans to damage our education and attack our teachers.

    You can see the footage of the police attacks on youtube:

    Please visit the campaign blog and sign the online petition to get the students immediately reinstated - if you're a student, please state your university in the comments section:

    And email the Vice-Chancellor Michael Farthing making your thoughts known:
    Or phone: (01273) 678088 or
    (01273) 678028

    Please forward this message far and wide.