Hard left students protesting about rent rises in their accommodation have burned an effigy of one of their university staff members, as horrified pedestrians and motorists looked on.
The footage, from earlier this week, shows a handful of radical left wing students taking to the streets outside the University College London (UCL). Initial reports claimed there were around 300 in total, with banners and an effigy of Vice-Provost of the university Rex Knight.
The Press Association reports:
The students were demonstrating against claims the university is aiming to make a 45% profit margin by hiking the price of student accommodation.
Mr LeTendre-Hanns, the organiser of the protest, said: “It’s really about changing how the university is run and getting it away from corporate culture when it should be focused on education, focused on student welfare and students actively having a say.”
A UCL spokesperson said: “While we understand the concerns around the cost of accommodation in London, it is inaccurate to suggest that UCL is making a profit for the university.
“All of the money that UCL receives in rent is ploughed back into residences. While the proportions may vary year to year, we invariably spend more on residences than we receive in rental income.
“We make every effort at UCL to keep rents as low as possible, which is a difficult challenge considering our central London location. Our rents are competitive in comparison with equivalent London institutions, and far less than rates for comparable accommodation in the private sector.”
The latest incident is further evidence of the fact that universities are once again becoming a major stomping ground for hard left politics. Observers noted that there were no police present, and that passengers on a nearby bus were frightened by the events.