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Students to occupy buildings in university protest

Published torsdag 14 november 2013 kl 11.23
Uppsala University is one of several institutions where students have planned to protest. Photo: Olle Kejonen / SR Sameradion

Students across Sweden will protest Thursday against what they call the privatization of higher education, Swedish Radio News reports. After the demonstrations, several students plan on occupying school buildings.

Organizing through Twitter and other social media outlets, the group is urging other students and university employees to attend rallies in Lund, Gothenburg, Uppsala and Stockholm.

The students are upset over a recent government initiative that would transform state-owned colleges and universities into private foundations. The proposal would offer universities more autonomy by allowing private foundations to manage them but students view the change as a threat to their education.

"This would seriously affect the quality, accessibility, and openness of the Swedish universities. Even if this reform recently has been pulled back from Parliament a new version is to be presented the coming spring," the group wrote on their website.

The Ministry of Education is still studying the proposal, especially how it would affect students' rights and employees.

Leaders of the protest are hoping for a large turnout.

"I hope to have a very strong student movement. A bit like (the student protest movements in 1968), only better," Andrea Malesevic, a psychology student at Lund University and one of the organizers, told the newspaper Metro.

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