Oxford University cancels exams as pro-Palestine protesters storm campus

13 June 2024, 22:46 | Updated: 13 June 2024, 23:11

People arriving to take exams were met with pro-Palestine protesters
People arriving to take exams were met with pro-Palestine protesters. Picture: Kyra Radley

By Emma Soteriou

Oxford University was forced to cancel end-of-term exams after pro-Palestine protesters stormed a campus.

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Around half a dozen students were said to have taken over a building and began "chanting out the window" at the university's East Writing School on Oxford high street.

People arriving to take a chemistry exam in the building on Thursday morning were instead faced with protesters draping a flag out the window.

One student told Cherwell, an Oxford student newspaper, that the group stayed in the building overnight.

Meanwhile, a second group of around 20 people were said to have attempted to enter later on.

Read more:Twenty Barclays branches smashed up by Palestine activists who claim bank is 'funding Israel'

Read more: Three officers injured and 40 people arrested after police clash with pro-Palestine protesters in Westminster

The protests were organised by an autonomous group, Oxford Action for Palestine (OA4P) said.

Both preliminary and final exams were due to take place in the building, it is understood.

Students were told to expect "minor delays", with exams in the East School cancelled.

A spokesperson from the University of Oxford said: “The University is disappointed with this morning’s occupation of the Exam Schools and the absolutely unacceptable disruption caused to our students.

"We are putting into place contingency plans to ensure all students will have the opportunity to sit their examinations with as little disruption as possible.

“It is unclear who the occupying group are representing, as they claim to be acting without the knowledge of the OA4P encampments.

"While the University supports the right to peaceful protest within the law and our rules, this action plainly goes beyond the bounds of acceptable protest.”

Thames Valley Police said it was aware of the incident.

“Officers attended the university following reports of protesters gaining access to the Exam Schools," they said.

"We continue to work closely with the university as this develops. No arrests have been made.”

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