Students demonstrate in support of victimised colleagues

A demonstration will take place outside a Birmingham college today after two students were expelled for distributing a newsletter criticising managers. Matthew Boulton College has been accused of over-reacting by the National Union of Students and scuppering the pair’s chances of applying for university.

The newsletter questioned a decision by the college to ban religious groups on campus and highlighted what it claimed were “rude security guards” at its new £40 million city centre campus. Managers ruled the material constituted “grounds for misconduct” and cancelled the enrolment of the two students.

The pair – Assed Baig, aged 24 and Darrel Williams, aged 21 – who are on an access to higher education course, now face missing the January 15 deadline for applying to university.

NUS Black Students’ Officer Pav Akhtar said: “This situation comes at a crucial time for university applications and could seriously jeopardise their chances of finding a place for next year. We believe the college has over-reacted by expelling the students and call on them to reverse their decision with immediate effect.”

The NUS is now calling on student activists across the country to put pressure on Matthew Boulton College to get it to back down.

Birmingham Post, 13 January 2006