Ashley Hayward stands anxiously on the picket line outside the Senate House library in the heart of Bloomsbury, central London.
As cries of: "Don't go to your classes today, don't cross the picket," ring out, the stress tells on the 19-year-old's face.
Edging forward, the first-year ancient-languages student seems distressed and a little angry.
"I completely agree with the lecturers, but I am paying for my education and my teacher is running the lesson today," she says.
"This is my degree. I have an exam. So I can't miss it."
"This is an exam that is 50% of a core module."
Polite-but-persuasive picket Martha, a full-time researcher in neuroscience, tells Ashley: "We are asking students not to go in today. This is about our pensions.