Student Motion Two: Motion to Introduce an Ethical Partnerships Policy and Review of the Ethical Investments Policy

Election Information

Election start date
24 November 2021, 01:00:00 PM
(1 week ago)
Voting ends
25 November 2021, 01:00:00 PM
(1 week ago)
Voting System
First Past the Post
Elected from this election

The Motion Encourages the Union to Note:

The university has a number of partnerships that may be considered unethical:

  1. The University of Portsmouth partnership with the military technological college in Oman, to oversee the courses: Essentially, this could be argued that this is supporting the autocratic rule of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq in Oman — a country in which political parties and independent media are banned. Haitham is considered to hold absolute power – acting as the country’s unelected Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Finance and Foreign Affairs.
  2. Articulation Agreement with the Communication University of China and Beijing Film Academy: Articulating with an organisation that is run by the Chinese state broadcaster could be considered an odd partnership, when considering that the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN has lost its broadcast licence in the UK after Ofcom concluded that the news network was controlled by the Chinese Communist party. Ofcom also ruled CGTN had violated impartiality requirements in its reporting on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.
  3. Chinese University of Hong Kong, School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

The university has a number of financial partnerships that may be considered unethical:

  1. Partnership with BAE systems: One example of unethical behaviour by this company includes BAE’s Typhoon and Tornado aircraft that have been central to Saudi Arabia’s devastating attacks on Yemen – attacks that have killed thousands and created a humanitarian disaster.
  2. Partnership with Qinetiq: where watchkeeper drones are claimed to have been “tested on Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

The Motion Encourages the Union to Believe:

  1. The University of Portsmouth should consult students prior to forming partnerships or agreeing investments with external organisations. Having unethical partnerships and investments may reflect badly on students graduating from a university that is complicit with unethical behaviour. For instance, if the external organisation was to engage in activities that undermine fundamental human rights, and become publicly known and shamed, then graduating from the University of Portsmouth would no longer be something to celebrate on your CV.
  2. The current generation of students are widely known for their activist spirit, therefore attending a university that fails to acknowledge this and consult with their students on their values is concerning.

The Motion Encourages the Union to Resolve:

  1. To ensure that the university conducts thorough investigations into how ethical an organisation, institution or company is prior to articulating a partnership or investment.
  2. To ensure there is a deeper level of student consultation around all university partnerships and investments.
  3. To ensure university partnerships and investments are published and made readily accessible to students, as well as the investigation process.

Proposed By: Jade Underwood

Seconded By: Elliott Lee

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