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Students show solidarity with striking lecturers

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Today saw the final day of events in Stirling’s Solidarity Space, in support of the University and College Union (UCU) lecturer strikes.

Lecturers were striking throughout February for equal pay and pensions.

The picket line at the university entrance today. Image credit: Freya Deyell

The space was established on the top floor of the new Atrium extension last Wednesday.

The past week’s events included discussions, film screenings and placard making sessions.

Marianna Iacobucci, an Italian Film and Media student, got involved because the idea of the space resonated with them.

They said: “It’s been really nice… We’ve created this alternative community in Campus Central and we’ve had events here. Lots of people coming and talking about different stuff.”

Students call for the prioritisation of education over profit. Image credit: Freya Deyell

The space was manned full time over the last eight days, with some students even sleeping there.

Many other solidarity spaces have popped up in universities all over the country, as well as students congregating in London today for the Walk Out / Teach In strike organised by the National Union of Students.

Alyson Mackay, VP Communities, says the Students Union decided to have their own rally on campus instead of encouraging students to travel to London.

Mackay chalks up a “new vision for education”. Image credit: Freya Deyell

Mackay said: “We felt it would be more beneficial for our students to strike here in Stirling, where they live, where they go to university.”

Continuing to say: “We wanted to bring it to our own campus.”

Speeches took place in Queen’s Court outside the Cottrell Building, followed by students marching across campus with some members of the UCU joining in.

Students show support for lecturer strikes outside the Cottrell Building. Image credit: Freya Deyell

Some Glasgow students also chose to attend Stirling’s rally instead of going to London.

Law student Daniel MacPadden from Ireland described the solidarity space as “a massive success”.

MacPadden said: “The education system as it is, is broken. It’s not something that can be fixed, it’s not something that can be taped over, it is fundamentally broken.

“What we’ve done here, I think is really successful in showing that there is an alternative. This is a new vision of what education can and what it should be.”

Feature Image Credit: Freya Deyell

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