Students 'occupy' Sheffield University building in protest over cuts

Student occupation Sheffield University
Students staged a protest at the Hicks building Credit: @rentstrikeUoS/Twitter

Two buildings at Sheffield University have been closed after they were occupied by a group of students protesting at cuts to services and showing "solidarity" with striking staff.

Pictures were posted on social media of students holding banners and raising their fists, at the Hicks building.

They tweeted: "There are now two UoS buildings occupied in solidarity with the UCU strikes" along with the hashtag #SaveSheffieldArchaeology.

Yesterday students occupied another building on campus.

It comes as members of the University and College Union (UCU) stage up to 10 days of strike action across the UK over pensions, pay and working conditions.

And it follows confirmation that the university's world-renowned archaeology department will close despite a campaign to save it.

More than 42,000 people signed a petition opposing the closure, with the UCU describing the move as "beyond short-sighted".

But the university said it had taken the decision following a "significant decline" in the number of student applications, with only 10 students receiving offers for September.

One academic from the archaeology's department expressed support for the occupation.

Professor Of Zooarchaeology Umberto Albarella tweeted that he was "so proud of our brave students".

A university spokesperson said: "There are currently a small number of students occupying the Jessop West and Hicks buildings on the University of Sheffield campus.

"The buildings are closed, and all teaching and other activities scheduled to take place are being moved to alternative locations. 

"Our priority is to minimise disruption and we have been communicating any changes directly to students and staff.

"We are in contact with the students who are occupying the buildings and we hope that the situation is resolved as soon as possible."