PROTESTERS blockading car parks at a university campus say drivers accelerated towards them.

Students at the University of Sussex formed a blockade at the entrance to some of the institution’s car parks this morning to support ongoing strikes over the pay, pensions and working conditions of lecturers.

These have been organised by the University of College Union (UCU) with many students choosing to stand in solidarity with striking university staff.

One student, who was part of a group of 25 protesters at the University of Sussex’s Falmer campus, said: “We were blockading the entrance to a car park, looking to put pressure on the university (to make changes).

“It was a disruptive, peaceful protest and we made sure to let anyone through who had any accessibility issues.”

They said several cars drove towards a group of five students which they were part of and “continued to accelerate” in an act of “aggression”.

“There was contact made between us and the cars,” they added.

“They told us we have a right to do this because you are stopping us from making profits.

“But campus security came over and told them what they were doing was illegal.”

A Sussex Police spokesman said they were called at 8.30am to reports of a small number of people protesting.

He said: "Officers attended to ensure and facilitate a peaceful protest. No offences were reported."

There was also student action at the University of Brighton’s City campus in Grand Parade.

Students “barricaded themselves” inside the building shortly after midday, one witness said.

Several posters and signs supporting the strike have been displayed outside the front of the building.

The University of Sussex and the University of Brighton have been contacted for comment.

The UCU strikes are taking place across 74 institutions, starting on February 20 and ending on March 13.

They are being held amid disputes over pay, equality and casualisation, as well as changes to staff’s pension scheme at some institutions.

The strikes are being supported by the National Union of Students.

A spokesman said: “We believe firmly in showing solidarity with other unions which fight to make our education better, and UCU’s action is integral to improving education.

“UCU also represents a large proportion of NUS members. Postgraduate Research students can join UCU for free during their studies, and it is them who, as future academics, stand to benefit significantly from improved working conditions should UCU be successful in this dispute.”