Angry students at the University of Birmingham lay down in the road in a mass blockade in support of a national protest over pay cuts in higher education.

Up to 40 Birmingham students threw an all-day protest cordon around the site off the A38 in a show of solidarity with the nationwide dispute.

The strike is the first co-ordinated action between the three major higher education unions, Unite, UCU, and Unison in recent years, and is targeted against an alleged 13 per cent real terms cut in pay since 2008.

University of Birmingham economics and politics student Simon Furse, 21, said: “We just think that staff should be paid fairly. Having well-paid staff is very much in the interests of the students.

Students protesting outside the University of Birmingham
Students protesting outside the University of Birmingham
 

“There are people laying down in the road. When we initially arrived, there was a bit of friction but even the security staff have had big pay cuts in the last few years as well, so they support what we are doing.

“We have deliberately kept one gate open, at the west gate. A few people have gone through at speed and not stopped to engage with us.”

The students also released a statement on their website, which said: “We are carrying out this blockade because we believe that there urgently needs to be forces with the power to challenge the Government and university administrations.

“Changing the policies of higher education is not about convincing those in senior positions but about the power of students and staff to stand up for our interests.

”The Guild of Students at Birmingham released a statement in support of the strike.Guild spokeswoman Hattie Craig said: “Given the changes currently going on in higher education and the deteriorating positions of students and staff I think it is only natural that people feel forced to take these kinds of disruptive action.

“We need a higher education system that puts the interests of staff, students and the public ahead of the interests of the government and senior managers.”

Pictures courtesy @defendedbrum