LONDON, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese embassy in Britain on Wednesday said it has expressed concerns to the British government over the ongoing strikes of British university staff as many Chinese students have been affected.
The embassy said in a statement that it has expressed its concern to British Ministry of Education and will maintain contact with the ministry to "ensure the legitimate right of Chinese students studying in Britain".
"Recently, staff of some British universities held a strike that affected the normal study of Chinese students in Britain," the Chinese embassy said in the statement.
Currently, Britain has the largest Chinese student community in Europe, with over 170,000 Chinese students and scholars studying in Britain.
The number of Chinese students in British higher education institutions far exceeds any other nationalities, according to the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The Chinese embassy called on Chinese students to pay close attention to the latest update of the strike, and press their demands through legitimate channels to protect their legitimate rights and interests.
So far 65 universities have joined the strike over pension cuts that started last week, the University and College Union said on Monday.
Staff said the pension changes will cost the average academic 10,000 pounds (13,782 U.S. dollars) a year in retirement, but the employers said the scheme has a deficit of more than 6 billion pounds.
BBC reported that as of Monday evening almost 115,000 students across 43 universities had signed petitions, broadly supportive of the lecturers' position, and asking for fee refunds for lost teaching hours, according to figures from Change.org, analyzed by UCU member Chris Forde, professor of employment studies at Leeds University.