Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Occupation Ends

The occupation has ended having received a response of sorts from the Vice Chancellor concerning our demands.

We are not happy with the response, that has been sent to all staff and students. A press release and our response will be published either later today or early tomorrow.

One message is clear - this is not the end and our response will not halt the fantastic momentum and support coming from all aspects of the university - the students, the lecturers, and the staff.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

We receive a message of support!

Message of Support from the Department of International Politics

The undersigned staff and postgraduate researchers in the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth fully support the students in their peaceful protests against cuts in public funding for Further and Higher Education as well as the planned rise of the cap in tuition fees to up to £9,000 per annum. This is a further erosion of the culture of higher education and the values of academia.
We call on the University Council to express opposition to the current government’s destructive agenda for higher education. We disapprove and condemn the proposals on the part of the government, which remove funding for social science, arts and humanities subjects and the removal of Educational Maintenance Awards for post-16s in England. We are deeply concerned by the increasingly market-driven rhetoric and practices that are leading to the total commodification of the higher education sector transforming students into consumers and academics into narrowly conceived service providers. Besides being in total opposition to the values of academia, they are neither economically nor politically progressive. These changes, which in effect make the university into a privately-funded institution, will make the functioning and reputation of this world-class university increasingly difficult and will in-debt students for years to come.
Several of the students in the occupation are an integral part of the research and teaching provisions of the Department, and represent the future of social science and humanities. Their passion and commitment in staging this occupation reflects the values of our academic discipline. Therefore, we call on the University Council to engage with the occupying students and their demands (demands for financial transparency and assurances that there will be no closures or mergers of departments, redundancies or reductions in staff numbers as a consequence of natural wastage, and no curtailment of the university facilities as a consequence of funding cuts) in a manner that reflects our values as an academic and educational community, values of mutual respect, debate, dialogue, and open and accessible public communication. Dealing effectively and openly with the student demands will ensure that the University is seen to be acting in the public interest and is taking responsible and just measures in dealing with student satisfaction and concerns.

We will do whatever we can to be of assistance in achieving this outcome.

Professor Richard Jackson
Dr Simona Rentea
Dr Kamila Stullerova
Anja Gebel
Dr Simona Davidescu
Andreja Zevnik
Megan Daigle
Andrew Hom
Dr Jenny Mathers
Professor Ken Booth
Dr Marie Breen Smyth
Ross Bellaby
Katja Daniels
Gillian McFayden
Charlie Thame
Damien Van Puyvelde
Aoileann Ni Mhurchu
Dr Carl Death
Charlotte Heath-Kelly
Sonja Kittelsen
Dr Milja Kurki
Dr Andrew Priest
Dr Ayla Gol
Gwenan Creunant
Hannah Hughes
Clare Paine
Dr Thanos Zartaloudis

Monday, 13 December 2010

Earlier . . .

A 12 much better after dark .. ..

Jammin' the night away....

Things are going great here - we've had amazing food, and we've got amazing been played by the talented folks of Aber town.

Tomorrow we've got a full programme kicking off again from 10 am. I'll keep you posted about that in the morning.

Night folks

We will stay overnight!

In a short and productive meeting it has been decided that the occupation should continue through till tomorrow. As such, we will be staying in the hall over night and we have an exciting programme both for tonight and tomorrow that I will publish when finalised.

The Demands and Petition have been sent to the University Council

At about 2.00pm this afternoon a small contingent of the occupants of Aber Uni walked down to Old College and presented through our representative, Jon - the Guild President, the petition of over 1500 signatures from students, staff and local residents which condemns government proposals for education funding cuts and calls on the Vice Chancellor and university management to do the same. We also at the same presented the demands that were published earlier on the blog.

The meeting is currently in progress and we will bring you progress as we go through.

The Demands of the Occupation are Released

The Aber Students Against The Cuts Demands

We call on Noel Lloyd and the University Council to publically condemn the proposed cuts to higher education funding, the rise of the cap on tuition fees, and the wider cuts to the public sector. We call on the University Council and Noel Lloyd, in his capacity as Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University and as chair of Higher Education Wales, to therefore publically reject those policies implemented by the government that advance the commodification and privatisation of higher education funding.

Instead, we demand that they affirm the fundamental role that Aberystwyth University plays within the social, political and cultural community; asserting the role of the university as a vital agent of a progressive society and of education as a public good available to all and not a commodity limited to those who can afford it.

We ask the members of the University Council to pledge not to use the new legislation to raise tuition fees.

We demand assurances that there will be no closures or mergers of departments, no redundancies nor reductions in staff numbers as a consequence of natural wastage, and no curtailment of the university facilities as a consequence of funding cuts.

We demand that the university Council and the vice chancellor address fully those concerns expressed in the petition signed by over 1400 staff, students, and members of the local community relating to the restructuring of higher education funding.

We demand indemnity from victimisation – including prosecution or university disciplinary measures - for those students, staff members and others who are participating peaceably in this teach-in and other peaceful protests.

We demand solidarity from the University Council in the pursuit of our demands.

First Meeting Held!

So, we had our first meeting attended by a number of our occupants. It was really successful and we have decided on what we're going to do at the University Council Meeting this afternoon!

If you want to get involved, then meet us in A12 before 1pm or join in at the Old College at 1.30pm

See you there!

We are occupying A12!

Please pass this message on to all your members:


A free university has been set up today in A12 lecture hall and we have events throughout the day here. Please come along in solidarity and join in! There could be nothing easier, than to bring whatever you were going to do today to this room and do it here!

Also - we are planning an action to coincide with the university council meeting at 1pm TODAY! So please come along before then and get involved!

See you soon!

Aber Students Against the Cuts