Staff and students at the University of Nottingham kicked off a potential four weeks of strikes over pensions on 22nd February, with a picket at the West Entrance of University Park Campus and a banner drop over Ningbo Friendship Bridge.
Protesters stormed a lecture theatre and demanded students walk out in solidarity with university lecturers on the first day of strikes against changes to pensions.
Staff fear changes could cost an average lecturer £200,000 over the course of their retirement.
Walkouts affected 64 universities across the United Kingdom, with lecturers and other workers protesting against potential alterations to the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS).
Cambridge Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) Branch Secretary Dr. Waseem Yaqoob added that "students should press for an end to the disruption any way they see fit", noting, however, that the UCU would prefer that students "call for negotiations above all".
Chair of CUSU International Committee Leo Paillard told Varsity: "As international students from outside of the European Union pay fees corresponding exactly to the cost of their course, the effect of the strike in terms of cancelled lectures and supervisions is obviously felt more strongly by them". They say it will leave them £10,000 a year worse off when they retire.
"In a rare show of unity, both Labour and the Tories are now telling Universities UK to get back round the table with us". However, in an interview for KTV, University Vice-Chancellor Karen Cox said that "there is no need for any financial compensation" for students at Kent when staff are trying their hardest to reschedule contact hours and "making sure that students are able to continue with their program".
Chloe Morris, who was in the lecture, told The Tab Sussex: 'There weren't many people in my psychology lecture as many probably used the excuse of a strike to have some time off.
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"The group of students, who carried banners and flares, cheered and shouted as they moved through the town around market square, down Senate House Passage and Burrell's Walk, then past the University Library to the Sidgwick site".
The chief executive of the vast universities pension scheme at the centre of the nationwide strike was given an £82,000 pay rise this year despite claims that there is a £6 billion hole in the fund.
In a statement on their website, Imperial College London say they will "make every effort to ensure all your assessment activities go ahead and are staffed appropriately". On the other hand, an undergraduate at King's, Cecily Bateman, was supportive of "any kind of action that brings publicity that takes [the strike action] to the highest level".
Current strike action is the outcome of a breakdown in negotiations between the University and UCU.
"We believe that fairly rewarded staff are the cornerstone of the university experience and that the proposal by Universities UK to substantially cut the pensions of members of the USS pension scheme will be hugely damaging if implemented", an NUS spokesperson said. If a credible, affordable solution were to be put forward by the union, employers would want to consider it.
They continued: "This industrial action is targeted at students".
Sally Hunt, leader of the UCU lecturers' union, said: "Whatever happens with this dispute, it is time for a proper look at what is happening with USS".