Alumni demand UCL sell arms shares

UCL has shares in UTC, the parent company of Sikorsky, who make the Black Hawk helicopter (pictured). Photograph: Suzanne Jenkins

UCL has shares in UTC, the parent company of Sikorsky, who make the Black Hawk helicopter (pictured). Photograph: Suzanne Jenkins

University College London (UCL) alumni have requested that the university consider getting rid of its £1.54m stake in an arms company.

It follows London Student revealing last month that UCL has 22,752 shares in United Technologies Corporation (UTC), who make missile guidance and actuation systems. UTC is also the parent company of Sikorksy, who manufacture Black Hawk helicopters.

Former UCL student Sara Hall and four other alumni have requested that the university’s Ethical Investment Review Committee (EIRC) meet to discuss whether to sell the UTC shares.

Hall told London Student: “We strongly believe that UCL should not invest in companies whose products are responsible for the death of civilians and even more tragically, for the death of children.”

She added: “We understand that the current levels of investment in UTC is 1% of UCL’s total investments, and as such its exclusion is unlikely to result in significant financial loss to the university.”

In 2009, following pressure from campaign group DisarmUCL, the EIRC decided the university should sell its stake in the arms company Cobham, which it then did.

Hall said she hoped the EIRC would agree that holding shares in UTC “is just as unethical as holding shares in Cobham”.


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