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Vyuo vikuu uingereza matatani

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Askari Kanzu, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Joined: Jan 7, 2011
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    The shame of Britain's universities

    Posted by Duncan Robinson - 09 March 2011 11:05
    LSE is far from the only university to accept money from repugnant regimes.
    [​IMG] British universities have accepted millions in donations from organisations such as the House of Saud, the Iranian government and even the Bin Laden family. Photo: Getty Images.

    The London School of Economics's links to the Gaddafi regime have damaged the university. Its talented director, Sir Howard Davies, has resigned, while a pall has been cast on the judgement of his predecessor, Anthony Giddens. A university that was once associated with the likes of Webb, Hayek and Shaw is now associated with accepting money from a tin-pot Arab dictator. Unfortunately, LSE is far from the only British university willing to accept funding from morally dubious sources.

    Top British universities regularly accept multi-million donations from regimes with extremely poor human rights records, such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. "Britain's best universities taking money from the world's worst governments is an established trend," says Robin Simcox, author of a 2009 report that looked into the links between British universities and governments with a poor record of human rights, published by the Centre for Social Cohesion.

    Simcox's report, A Degree of Influence, revealed that over the past thirty years top British universities have accepted numerous donations of between £150,000 and £8m from organisations linked to autocratic regimes -- and even the regimes themselves.

    Since 1986, the University of Oxford and the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies have accepted a combined total of more than £105m in donations from sources such as the Saudi royal family, the Malaysian government and even the Bin Laden dynasty, among others. In 1997, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies received £20m from the now deceased King Fahd of Saudi Arabia.

    In 2005 the university received £1.5m from the UAE Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation. Sheik Zayed's previous endeavours included establishing a think tank that, according to A Degree of Influence, published a report claiming that Zionists "were the people who killed the Jews in Europe". The University of Cambridge also received £1.2m from Sheik Zayed's foundation.

    Elsewhere, SOAS accepted a donation of £1m from King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to set up a chair of Islamic studies in 1995. Four years later, there was an outcry when the university accepted a donation of between £35,000 and £180,000 from the Iranian government. Cambridge, meanwhile, offers a studentship that is funded fully by the Iranian regime.

    The reputations of Oxford, Cambridge and SOAS, however, have not suffered in the past few weeks for a simple reason: unlike Libya, the morally repugnant regimes they accepted money from have yet to violently collapsed.

    LSE's reputation suffered not when it accepted the money, but when Gaddafi started massacring his own people in response to an uprising. The university's director, Sir Howard Davies, knew the potential risks to the university's reputation when he accepted the money. The university was not cautious, it was greedy - and now its name lies in the gutter. A number of vice-chancellors will look at Davies, however, and think: "There but for the grace of God go I."

    Saudi Arabia's abuse of human rights is well-documented. If Saudi Arabia were to follow in Libya's footsteps and launch a bloody crackdown on a restless populace, Oxford and SOAS would have a lot of explaining to do. The House of Saud, however, would only be exhibiting their continued contempt for human rights -- a contempt that was clear when the British universities accepted the regime's money. It won't just be those in Riyadh hoping for the Arab uprising to stop short of Saudi borders.


  2. Askari Kanzu

    Askari Kanzu JF-Expert Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Joined: Jan 7, 2011
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    Libya: Leeds University latest to disclose ties with Gaddafi regime

    The University of Leeds said it had received £800,000 from Col Muammar Gaddafi's regime this year as it became the latest university to disclose ties to the dictatorship
    An estimated 67 Libyan students have studied at Leeds Photo: ALAMY

    By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 6:37PM GMT 10 Mar 2011

    Prof Bronek Wedzicha led a delegation from Leeds to forge lucrative links with official institutions including Tripoli's Academy of Graduate Students, which reportedly offered master's degrees to students willing to demonstrate in support of Col Gaddafi during the uprising.

    Prof Wedzicha was photographed accepting a gift under a giant mural of Col Gaddafi.

    An estimated 67 Libyan students have studied at Leeds.