International news in brief

 
 

University of Manchester, England

Students in England marched in protest against planned university cuts in Platt Park in the centre of Manchester on January 29th.

The protest passed without major incident and police said that it was predominantly peaceful despite 16 arrests and 2 police injuries.

The march was in protest of the recent decision to raise annual tuition fees to £9,000 (€10,583) a year, as well as cuts to teachers’ salaries and funding which are planned for the coming months.

In a statement, MP for Universities and Science David Willets said “no student will be asked to pay upfront costs, there will be more financial support for poorer students”.

The National Union of Students in England, encouraged protest against the fees and cuts, but stressed the importance of organisation and peaceful methods.

University of British Columbia, Canada

An animal rights group has staged a protest against the University of British Columbia using primates in experiments.

The proposed experiment, which involves injecting the monkeys with a hormone causing them to develop Parkinson’s disease, has been heavily criticised by the group Stop UBC Animal Research.

Protestors dressed in monkey suits and held a peaceful protest outside the Vancouver Art Gallery. The protestors say they are prepared to buy the animals but are lobbying the university to donate them instead: “We have public support in raising funds to purchase them. We feel that they really belong to the taxpayers, who fund much of the research at UBC [and] would prefer that UBC donate them.”

A spokesperson for UBC said that the sale or donation of the moneys was impossible and that the monkeys are well cared for. “The monkey colony is maintained and we want to make sure they are kept in good shape.”

Oxford University, England

The University of Oxford’s Students’ Council has heard proposals to promote the use of ethical clothing for its sports teams and societies’ uniforms.

The proposer of the motion to the Ethics and Environment’s Officers, Sean Robinson, encouraged other colleges to follow suit: “This is to show the support of students, and to appeal to colleges that ethical sourcing is possible.”

So far, twelve clubs have pledged not to use clothes manufactured in sweatshops. The head of the Oxford Drama society, Jacob Diggle, defended the cost, saying: “The Fairtrade stash was about ten per cent more expensive, but is actually better quality than the non-Fairtrade stuff.”

The proposal follows a national “Buy Right” campaign in England, which aims to promote ethical products in universities.

UCD stocks various Fairtrade food products in the shops across campus, but there are no plans to introduce ethical and sustainable clothing at present.

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