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Cardiff Metropolitan becomes first university in Britain to divest from ‘border violence’

CARDIFF Metropolitan has become the first university in Britain to pledge never to invest in companies involved with the border industry.

In a victory for student campaigners, the university announced this week that it has committed in its ethical investment and banking policy to “screen out border industry companies.” 

Students have been calling on institutions to divest from firms involved in border security and control as well as the detention, deportation and surveillance of migrating people. 

Universities are estimated to invest a total of £327 million in border industry firms, according to a freedom of information request carried out by student organisation People and Planet, which leads the national Divest Borders campaign. 

These include companies, such as outsourcing giant Serco, which runs several immigration detention centres on behalf of the Home Office, drone firm Airbus and tech giant Accenture, which produces border surveillance tech. 

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor Professor Rachael Langford said that the institution was proud to be the first in Britain to “align investment practices with immigration justice.

“The university does not currently hold any investments with companies involved in the border industry and we are not making any changes to our investments,” she said. 

“We are therefore delighted to make it our policy never to invest with companies involved in the border industry.”

Campaigners said that the decision sets an “incredible precedent” for Britain’s higher education sector. 

“As governments build higher and higher physical and virtual walls and scapegoat people on the move, border industry companies are happily making a business of death, detention and deportations,” Eva Spiekermann of the People and Planet campaign group said. 

“Universities have a role to play in defending the values of sanctuary, international solidarity and justice for all. This is the first of many Divest Borders wins.”

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