Occupying Newcastle University: student resistance to government spending cuts in England



In November and December 2010, students across the UK organised and participated in protests against government spending cuts and, in particular, proposals to change how higher education is funded in England. These changes mean that universities in England can charge up to £9000 every year in tuition fees to each student as a result of their funding from the government – through the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – being completely withdrawn. In this commentary, we document the actions of students involved in the Newcastle Occupation and explore how they claimed space, adopted an alternative governance structure and utilised cyberspace in an attempt to foster social and political change.