While I attended Oxford, nothing happened. No real protests, students were remarkably apolitical. The whole scene suffered from underrepresentation, a perilously weak students’ union and political parties which were populist in their approach to students. What happens a few years after I leave? This.
It will be interesting to see whether John Hood and the Senior Proctor manage to discipline any of the students involved in the protest, or whether the students achieved their objectives. The last time the university was ‘occupied’ it was over top-up fees and it was (obviously) a manifest failure.
Now had students all around the country occupied all their universities, we might have had something. At the very least, this is an answer to those people who harp on about the depoliticized youth of today. Young people are ‘depoliticized’ because they don’t think they can act locally and yet have a national effect. In this case, it has been easier to understand how the local issue affects the national one.
It would be easy for me to sit back and poke holes in the populist nonsense that more than likely went into this protest, rather than any detailed understanding of the political situation and the value of a slogan, nevertheless I’m inclined to congratulate the participants.