An ongoing student strike at the University of Puerto Rico has placed the school semester on hold, but the standoff does not affect its ability to repay its $569 million of outstanding bonds, according to a university official.

The strike began six weeks ago, and thousands of students are protesting potential tuition increases and higher costs. Student rallies, sit-ins, and clashes with the police have shut down all 11 UPR campuses and threaten the system’s ability to finish the second semester of the 2009-10 school year.

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