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Protesters vow to stay 'as long as it takes'
11:10am Saturday 21st April 2012 in Oxford
Students have pledged to stay at a protest camp in Oxford for “as long as it takes” after a university vice-chancellor snubbed their calls for funding reforms.
About 25 students set up the camp outside the Gipsy Lane campus of Oxford Brookes University on Wednesday to protest against the introduction of £9,000 tuition fees later this year.
They have written to Brookes’s vice-chancellor Professor Janet Beer to demand she condemn the fees hikes and protect academics from “unnecessary interference”.
And they said fee waivers – which knock up to £2,500 off – should be scrapped and bursaries, currently up to £2,000, increased.
But in a statement to the Oxford Mail the university said it had a “strong package of bursaries” and heralded “generous” waivers.
Protester Pierre Marshall, 18, said: “We did expect them to turn around and say ‘we will try to have some sort of concession’.”
He said: “I’m slightly disappointed they didn’t do anything. That doesn’t mean they won’t.”
The international relations and politics student said: “We plan to stay on for as long as it takes until our demands are met.”
The event was inspired by the global Occupy movement, where protesters set up camps to call for reforms to the financial system.
Mr Marshall said of fellow students: “On the whole, they are behind us, perhaps not willing to join us, but behind us.”