Sunday, 15 March 2009

2nd Uni Update

This is an update of recent action taken by the University re the Gaza crisis, and of action intended in the days ahead.

David Newall, Susan Stewart, Sun 15 March 2009

As discussed on 27 February, the University is willing to allow a second day of DEC fundraising to take place on campus. This will not be promoted by the University, but colleagues with responsibility for access to buildings will be advised that they should cooperate in making the day a success. Students proposing to coordinate the fundraising day should let David Newall know in good time when they plan to hold it.

The University has shared details of its international scholarships programme with the Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) and has invited it to encourage nominations of students who would come to Glasgow to study.
The University has also contacted the Palestinian and Jordanian offices of the British Council, asking them to help publicise opportunities at

The University has a longstanding relationship with Bethlehem University, the main University contacts being based in the Faculty of Education and the Chaplaincy. The commitment to the Bethlehem
partnership has been seen in recent times with the Chaplaincy's leadership of fundraising for Medical Aid for Palestinians. The University will soon announce details of a new initiative through which GU will raise funds for a scholarship that will be offered by Bethlehem University and earmarked for students from Gaza.

David Newall has a meeting with his opposite numbers at Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian on 28 April, at which an agenda item will be possible future cooperation in the provision of scholarships for Palestinian students.

Academic Resources
As reported on 27 February we have advised Educational Aid for Palestinians that we have a stock of library books ready for them to collect and transfer to Gaza. The charity has been slow in responding to communications. If students who participated in the occupation have suggestions of other charities whom we might contact, that would be welcome.

DN has asked the Director of IT Services to explore whether the
University can make exceptions to its standard policy on IT equipment, and we will update on that next time we are in contact. Currently, all used IT equipment is disposed of by an approved contractor who is
responsible for removing the material content and disposing of the equipment in an environmentally acceptable way.

Eden Springs
DN stated on 27 February that he was opposed to withdrawing from Eden Springs, or to ceasing to place new orders with Eden Springs, because he believes this would be seen by the University community as an inappropriate, politically weighted decision. Since then, through David Campbell, a submission has been received on Eden Springs, and the matter will be discussed at a senior management group meeting on 17 March.

Ethical Investment
A five-member Court working group has been asked to review the University's Ethical Investment policy. The group will be required to report to the meeting of Court in early October 2009. The group will be
chaired by Robin Easton (lay member) and will include Susan Dunsmore (lay member) Prof Eleanor Gordon (Senate Assessor), Susan Ashworth (Staff Representative) and Gavin Lee (SRC President).

As agreed at the meeting on 27 February, an analysis has been provided of the University's investment holdings (reference date 30 November 2008).


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