Tuesday, 31 March 2009

3rd Uni Update

This is an update of recent action taken by the University re the Gaza crisis.


Scholarships

On 23 March, the University Chaplaincy announced its target to raise £28K in the coming year for a scholarship to be offered through Bethlehem University. Bethlehem runs courses in a range of medical-related specialisms. The scholarship will be used to allow a student from Gaza to study at Bethlehem.

As reported two weeks ago, 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 Glasgow. As already reported, there will be a meeting with senior colleagues from Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian Universities on 28 April, at which possible future cooperation in the provision of scholarships for Palestinian students will be discussed.


Fundraising

The Chaplaincy's message on 23 March reported on its recent fundraising initiatives, including raising money for Medical Aid for Palestinians and for the DEC Gaza Appeal. As discussed on 27 February, the University is willing to allow a second day of DEC fundraising to take place on campus, and, once a date has been agreed, will advise colleagues with responsibility for access to buildings that they should cooperate in making the day a success.


Ethical Investment

Robin Easton, who will chair the Court review of Ethical Investment, met with David Newall on 27 March to discuss how the review group will go about its business. Deborah Maddern will clerk the review committee and you are welcome to have an input to its discussions by contacting her (d.maddern@admin.gla.ac.uk). As reported last time, the review group will be required to report to the meeting of Court in early October 2009. The other members of the group will be Susan Dunsmore (lay member) Prof Eleanor Gordon (Senate Assessor), Susan Ashworth (Staff representative) and Gavin Lee (SRC President).

An analysis was recently provided of the University's investment holdings (reference date 30 November 2008). A further analysis, reported in quarters and going back to September 2007, has now been prepared by Finance Office. I will put that in the post to David Campbell tomorrow.


Eden Springs

On 17 March, the Senior Management Group discussed the representations that have recently been made regarding the contract, negotiated through APUC, with Eden Springs. The group decided that it would not be appropriate for the University to cease to receive supplies of Eden Springs. The group is aware that several universities and colleges are planning to terminate the use of bottled water. However it took the view that a decision to terminate Eden Springs at this time would be viewed as a response to political pressure, and it was not willing to take that decision.


Academic Resources

As reported on 15 March we advised Educational Aid for Palestinians (EAP) that we have a stock of library books ready for them to collect and transfer to Gaza. We are also willing to supply used IT equipment, so long as the material content is removed. EAP have advised us that they will be unable to make a collection in the near future. We are therefore looking for other charities who might be willing to collect educational resources and transfer them to Gaza. The VivaPalestina convoy, mentioned in recent correspondence, may be one. It left the UK in mid-February and, if a second convoy is planned, we would supply it with the educational aid. If you have knowledge of any other charities who might collect educational aid more promptly than EAP or VP, please advise us.

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