French university cancels lessons after migrants settle on campus in tents

Almost 8,000 students were sent home as lessons were cancelled.

Jungle in Calais: More migrants are pitching tents in Paris as the jungle shot downReuters

A university in France was forced to cancel lectures after refugees pitched tents on the grounds of its campus. Lessons were suspended at the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne on Monday 18 September when around 40 migrants arrived.

The president of the university, Guillaume Gellé said: "I demand security for all concerned. You can see in this camp there are children and minors."

Until security at the campus had been re-established, he said that the lessons would be suspend "until further notice".

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The main student union, Unef, called for the "families to be moved out of the Croix-Rouge campus of the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne".

"We call on the local authorities, the mayor of Reims and the district to urgently house these families," said the union's statement.

The suspended lectures meant that around 8,000 students were forced to miss out on important lessons just weeks into the start of the new term.

In the northeast of the country, the university is just a couple of hours away from Calais, where thousands of migrants have lived for the past few years. France has come under pressure from the migrant crisis with many people either attempting to settle down in the country or use it as a bridge to places like the UK.

A man with a Tour de France backpack rests in a tent in ParisJoel Saget/AFP

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