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More university protests expected after Sophie Mirabella's talk disrupted

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David Wroe, Benjamin Preiss

Senior members of the government are bracing for more student protests after Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and former Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella were harangued in recent days.

After Ms Bishop was jostled last week at the University of Sydney, Ms Mirabella bore the brunt of students' anger at Melbourne University on Monday, being forced from a lecture theatre for several minutes while police restored order.

Before Prime Minister Tony Abbott's visit to Deakin University on Wednesday, one left-wing student group has insisted such protests will continue.

Jade Eckhaus, president of the Socialist Alternative club at Melbourne University, said other federal Liberal MPs could expect a similar response.

''I think it's going to happen at every university campus in Australia,'' she said.

Students are angry about increased university fees, higher interest rates on debts and reduced government funding for courses.

A Melbourne University spokesman said Ms Mirabella, a public policy fellow at the university, soon returned and delivered the lecture.

''The university is committed to academic freedom of expression and believes all staff have the right to perform their duties without intimidation or harassment,'' the spokesman said.

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