Overcrowding in Main Campus Library: concerns from PhD students

Reports emerged last week in the Edinburgh Evening News over the lack of study space available in the main library at the University of Edinburgh.

Controversy has arisen over lack of library space has led to Edinburgh students having their belongings taken away from their desks in order to free them up.

Some library users have stated that on going to fill up a water or find a book they have returned to find all their belongings gone, having been removed by members of the library staff or security team.

Students have had to go to reception to recover their possessions and then find another seat. This has led to protests from some students who have written phrases such as ‘Where is my space’ and ‘Will work 4 desk’ to express their feelings about the situation.

PhD students in particular have expressed that they feel they are in competition with fee paying undergraduates for space.

This comes after a recent reduction in desks for 1st and 2nd year postgraduate places according to the University of Edinburgh branch of the UCU.

The social media hashtag ‘PhD Precarity’ has been employed by PhD students to link this to wider concerns over the treatment of post-graduates at the university and fears of commercial interests taking priority over academic matters.

Overcrowding has become a feature of the George Square building. Exam periods have been noted as causing a particular squeeze on available space, with the capacity markers regularly showing that well over three quarters of the spaces in the building are occupied.

The Student will be following the situation in the coming weeks.

Image Credit: Stinglehammer via Wikimedia

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The Student Newspaper 2016