Julie Bishop heckled by University of Sydney students over funding cuts

A small diary event for Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop turned ugly on Friday when she was swarmed by chanting students angry at the government's cuts to higher education funding.

Ms Bishop was springing up the stairs to the historic MacLaurin Hall at the University of Sydney to announce a further 1000 students would be able to study overseas under new government funding when she was confronted by about 20 students.

"No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities," they shouted.

Ms Bishop's security detail and university security guards quickly surrounded Ms Bishop to keep the protesters at bay and ushered her into the hall.

They then pushed and shoved the students back from the hall entrance to keep them out.

Student Union board vice-president Tom Raue was among the protesters and said shortly after their actions were captured on video that he was pushed down a stone stairway by a plain-clothes security guard.

"The police and security guards were very violent," he said. "It was quite rough."

Mr Raue described the security response to the students' demonstration against budget cuts as an "over-reaction".

He said Greens, Labor and Liberal students were among the crowd.

Mr Raue later tweeted a picture of a beer and said: ‘‘Much needed beer after showing Bishop she’s not welcome at USYD, anywhere really.’’

Ms Bishop was also confronted by students at the University of Technology, Sydney on Friday where she was launching a new institute.

These students waited until the minister started addressing the audience. One, a young woman, then rose to her feet and shouted: ‘‘Julie Bishop, how dare you set foot on this campus when your government is responsible for attacking university students right now.

‘‘How dare you claim that you give a shit about international students,’’ she said.

A group of fellow students then chanted the familiar refrain: ‘‘No cuts, no fees, no corporate universities.’’ The speech was also captured on video and later uploaded to Facebook with the comment ‘‘The Q&A protesters strike again’’.

A spokeswoman for the minister said both Ms Bishop's university engagements on Friday "proceeded happily".

"Minister Bishop was at UTS to launch a new Australia-China Relations Institute and at Sydney University to award government-funded opportunities under the New Colombo Plan for 1000 students to study in Asia," the spokeswoman said.

"Both events proceeded happily."

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The story Julie Bishop heckled by University of Sydney students over funding cuts first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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