SCOTTISH universities are investing millions of pounds in “harmful” industries, according to the National Union of Students (NUS).
The NUS claims that nearly £16m is invested in companies involved in oil, gas and coal extraction, over £6m is invested in fossil fuel services and almost £3m is invested in the arms industry.
The University of Edinburgh, claims the NUS, invests almost £8.6m in fossil fuels, a further £5.9m in fossil fuel services, and £675,000 in the arms industry.
The union also claims that the University of Strathclyde invested 10% out of its overall endowment of £27,040,000 into fossil fuel companies and 3% into arms.
And the University of Glasgow also comes in for criticism for investing 5% out of its £43,327,918 endowment into fossil fuel extraction, and 3% into the arms industry.
The University of Dundee, with an endowment of £21,039,968, invested 9% of its fund into oil, gas and coal, claims the NUS.
The union is calling on universities and other publicly funded institutions to ensure they are investing their money in what it describes as a “socially responsible way”.
The NUS obtained the information using the Freedom of Information Act.
Kirsty Haigh, NUS Scotland Vice President Communities, said: “It’s shameful that Scottish universities are still pouring so much money into industries that are destroying the planet and fuelling conflict.
“Our institutions should be working to benefit not just their campuses but wider society as well, and we should expect more from them. At the moment, many of them either don’t know or don’t care what companies their investments are supporting.
“None of the reasons for divestment are contentious, and universities should recognise that and take action.”
She added: “It’s now common for public bodies to not invest in tobacco companies because of their harmful health impacts. There is no reason why universities shouldn’t do the same when it comes to fossil fuels and