Students at the University of Glasgow are celebrating after the university’s principal Anton Muscatelli conceded defeat, so ending the longest student occupation in UK history. Hard-won concessions include a new postgraduate club, no further cuts to courses and no compulsory redundancies at the university. As part of the deal, students will be able to question the principal in a mass open meeting in October as there has been a perceived lack of transparency surrounding management decisions at the University. They have also received assurances of no repercussions for staff or students who were involved in the occupation.
Students had occupied the Hetherington, the university’s then derelict postgraduate club, since 1 February this year (see PN 2531). As well as sleeping and studying there, the students created a wonderful site for campaigning and debate. Ken Loach, Billy Bragg, Scottish Makar Liz Lochhead and many other visiting speakers and academics contributed to discussions and talks that made the Free Heatherington a major focal point for university staff and students as they campaigned against cuts and lack of consultation.
The end of the occupation doesn’t mean the end of activism at the university. As student Laura Jones put it: “The fight absolutely does not end here. We will continue our campaign against tuition fees and ensure management keep their end of the bargain. We will be back.”