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Lecturers walk out over funding cuts

Thousands of students in colleges and universities are expected to be affected by 'widespread disruption' today as planned protests take place over cuts and possible job losses

Press Association

Colleges and universities will be hit with the biggest outbreak of industrial action in more than two years today as lecturers walk out in a row over funding cuts.

Thousands of students are expected to be affected by "widespread disruption" due to planned protests over "massive" cuts that would lead to job losses, the University and College Union (UCU) said.

Union members at 11 further education colleges and two universities in London, plus Sussex University, are taking part in the action, which will include a march and rally in Westminster this afternoon.

They are protesting against funding cuts for higher education which the UCU says are nearing £1bn , on top of the £340m savings further education must make in the next academic year.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: "All the tough talk about cuts has moved on and it is no longer just figures on paper.

"People are losing their jobs and access to education is disappearing. We believe in the power of education to make a real difference to people's lives and do not think we should be slashing funding at a time when more people than ever need access to education.

"UCU members are still on the side of education and we will be fighting to save jobs and defend education."

The London universities taking part are Westminster University and King's College London, which is seeing its second action this year.

The FE colleges are Barnet College; City and Islington College; College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London; College of North West London; Greenwich Community College; Hackney Community College; Lambeth College; Lewisham College; Richmond upon Thames College; Tower Hamlets College and Westminster Kingsway College. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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