New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Business
15 June 2007updated 19 Sep 2023 4:53pm

Victory in Gower Street

Student campaign forces UCL to back down over arms trade investments

By Sara Hall

After some dynamic campus campaigning helped by a lively discussion on this blog, University College London (UCL)students have done it. UCL Provost Malcolm Grant and the UCL Council agreed that it’s now time for their university to invest its money ethically.

Our case for divesting from the arms trader Cobham and for adopting an ethical investment policy has always been very strong. In the end UCL’s leadership, which until very recently defended holding shares in arms companies, had no choice but to come clean on investment.

This is a ground-breaking move. It puts UCL in a great position to be the global and innovative leader it prides itself to be. All of us at UCL(see our website) who campaigned for clean investment are completely over the moon with this recent success.

Better still, this victory is more than just about a single arms-free university in central London and a bunch of chuffed student campaigners, it is about proving that ethical investment is the future. In the light of this win, UCL is trail-blazing the way for other universities to follow, making it increasingly difficult for any arms investing universities (see here) to justify their position.

The win also shows the power of student solidarity and student campaigning is very much alive. Neither top-up fees nor criticism from the university’s leadership can stop us from standing up for what we believe is right.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

Looking back the key to success seems to be our attempts to build a broad supporter base, to be creative, persistent and most importantly make the campaigning fun.

Content from our partners
We need an urgent review of UK pensions
The future of private credit
Peatlands are nature's unsung climate warriors