Sheffield Uni’s £30m funding from arms companies revealed

The University of Sheffield received nearly £30m from companies involved in the arms trade in the past five years, a Freedom of Information request by The Free University of Sheffield has found.

Rolls-Royce, which produces military aircraft engines and earns 23 per cent of its turnover from arms, invested £4,730,924 in the University last year only. BAE systems, which is the world’s third largest arms producer, invested £1,113,859. Around 94 per cent of BAE systems revenue comes from the sale of arms.

A spokesperson for the University of Sheffield said: “The University has several innovative research partnerships with international companies, including Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and Boeing, which bring major benefits to students, allow us to offer a unique education experience and also drive important research projects to overcome the world’s toughest challenges.”

Interesting definition of the ‘world’s toughest challenges’ there.

Welfare Officer Tom Harrison told Forge Press:

“Sheffield students have long demanded the University of Sheffield cut ties with arms companies and I wholeheartedly support that, considering there is a legitimate academic freedoms argument to be had.”


“As is Union policy, the Union does not support any involvement with arms companies, whether promoting them at careers fairs, being funding by them or academic resources being used to support their aims.”


“When arms manufacturers are bankrolling universities, whose interest do you think research will benefit?


Don’t dither – divest! New campaign guide


Hot off the press, the new ‘Don’t dither – divest’ campaign guide for students is now available.

Brilliantly produced and thoroughly researched by NUS Scotland this resource pulls together everything you could possibly want to know about university divestment campaigns, all in one easily accessible place.

Can’t get enough of this kind of thing? There’s more here

Lancaster University students take action against BAE


Lancaster University Against Arms Trade report on a recent action:

To coincide with planned divestment day activities, students at Lancaster university redecorated a 10′ high sign outside the university campus, using wallpaper and wheat paste.

The sign read ‘BAE Systems university: complicit in murder’, and was designed to draw attention to Lancaster universities ongoing partnerships and investment in the global arms firm.

Unfortunately the sign was removed by campus security this morning, however activists are happy that the action will have sent a clear message to the university management that continued support for arms manufacturing is not in the name of the students.

Lancaster university has been the site of ongoing protests against BAE Systems, in particular Lancaster’s role in drone research and development.