Tomorrow, the National Union of Students is launching a new education divestment toolkit for student unions and student activists.
Students have been campaigning for years to decolonize education. Working with Campaign Against Arms Trade Universities, Students Organizing for Sustainability UK, People and Planet and dED_UCATION, NUS has produced a simple and practical step-by-step campaign guide.
The workbook aims to support students who wish to highlight and break their institutions’ links with colonialism and imperialism.
The toolkit informs readers about the links of the British education system with the country’s colonial past and explains how universities and colleges are still linked to colonialism and imperialism, through their investments, their career services, the funding from local councils and banks.
Launched a few days after the publication of the open letter with 800 signatures calling on education providers to cut their ties with colonialism and imperialism, this tool will provide readers with a guide to identify what needs to change and how to ensure that this change to occur.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the toolkit, NUS Vice President for Liberation and Equality Sara Khan said:
“I am proud to launch this step-by-step campaign guide. Students have a proud history of fighting for divestment and decolonization, and I am optimistic that this toolkit will enable more of us to show universities and colleges that we are not fooled by their efforts. inadequate. Education should be a place of learning, not of making money. We must fight to end the commodification of education and push institutions to reallocate their money back into our communities – into adequate housing, to make education free and lifelong, and into health care. truly universal healthcare – as well as anti-racism initiatives. Let’s transform our education and our society”
People & Planet’s Climate Campaigns Co-Director J Clarke said:
“This toolkit is the product of fantastic work by NUS to bridge the gaps between the different areas and targets of the campaign. It offers student activists an accessible entry point to the crucial understanding that neither climate nor social justice will not be achieved without addressing the colonial roots that underlie the crises we face today. Our educational institutions are complicit in maintaining systems of injustice; this toolkit is a roadmap to address this truth”
Mel Kee, campaign manager at Students Organizing for Sustainability UK, said:
“Divestment has always been a powerful tactic for activists fighting for environmental and social justice and this toolkit brings education and action together, giving practical steps students can take to push for vital change. We need to harness the influence that money has on our institutions, cut ties and build a better way forward”
Co-founder and Executive Director of dED_UCATION, Jinsella said:
“dED_UCATION is proud to have contributed to the creation of this NUS toolkit. Demilitarizing education is key to achieving climate and social justice. That’s why this divestment toolkit is an essential resource for creating a new vision for higher education that puts our future at the forefront of their business.”
Malak Mayet, Universities Coordinator at Campaign Against Arms Trade, said:
“UK universities are getting at least £190million from an industry that is destroying communities around the world. This money is used to fund engineering courses and research into weapons development.
“The British arms trade claims the lives of millions of people every year – the vast majority of them civilians. On top of that, arms companies play a crucial role in destroying the climate, producing more carbon emissions than 60 different countries put together Our arms trade and foreign policy have exported colonial terror around the world, committing war crimes that destabilize vast areas of the South, ensuring that the legacy of death and suffering continues.
“It is absolutely shameful that universities continue to collaborate with this oppressive trade. It is hypocritical for institutions that claim to “decolonize” their programs and issue statements of solidarity with Ukraine to continue to engage with companies ensuring that colonial violence and war remain a reality for so many within our global community. No more using equality, diversity and inclusion marketing to hide complicity – it’s time for UK universities to put their money where their mouth is and divest from the arms trade »
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