Page last updated at 13:28 GMT, Thursday, 18 March 2010

University of Sussex staff in walk-out over cuts


Students joined staff picket lines at the Falmer campus of the University of Sussex

Hundreds of staff from the University of Sussex staged a strike in protest at job cuts, as students occupied a lecture theatre for an eighth day.

Union officials said 560 academic staff and administrators supported the one-day strike.

It follows anger at proposals to cut about 115 jobs and create 20 new posts.

A university spokeswoman said it was "business as usual" and students were being encouraged to attend lectures and seminars where possible.

'Standing reduced'

Paul Cecil president of the University of Sussex's University and College Union, said: "We think the plans will cause serious damage to students' education.

"Narrowing the curriculum as a result of staff cuts will reduce the amount of support students will get."

Up to 100 students have been staying in a lecture theatre on the university's main Falmer campus since 11 March, inprotest at the job cuts.

Sussex University
University of Sussex union members staged a walk-out

Six students remain suspended after they were identified as having taken part in an earlier sit-in, on 3 March, which led to two arrests.

Student Ellie Hristova, 25, from London was among hundreds of students supporting picket lines at the university.

She said: "When I leave Sussex with my degree, I don't want to see its standing or importance reduced because of these planned cuts."

The university said it has had 15 consultation meetings with each of the three campus trade unions.

A spokeswoman said: "The university has made strategic proposals to respond to the challenging financial climate for higher education, to ensure that we remain a leading research-led university."

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