In recent months, the University of London’s Senate House has been operating like a dodgy nightclub, with extra security guards, ID-checks, bag checks and ugly security fences. A techy, unpleasant vibe has taken hold.

In an email to staff, the university’s Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group acknowledged that “Colleagues [feel] that these issues are starting to have an impact on the staff and visitors, particularly those who are used to Senate House being an open and welcoming building and also those attending events and activities.”

A lecturer at the University of London put it to me more bluntly: “People have found this very intimidating and the atmosphere is quite paranoid.”

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