Three more UK universities break ties with fossil fuel recruiters

1 Dec 2022 08:16, Climate Team

We are delighted to announce that three more UK universities have ended fossil fuel recruitment on campus. This is a fantastic victory, but we want to go much further.  If you're a current student or member of staff, why not get involved in the campaign? If you're interested, fill out this form and we can chat through what that might look like.

Press Release: Three more UK universities break ties with fossil fuel recruiters


Today three more UK universities have ended fossil fuel industry recruitment on their campuses. The University of Bedfordshire, University of the Arts London and Wrexham Glyndwr University have all adopted an ‘Ethical Careers Policy’ that explicitly excludes oil, gas and mining industries from holding recruitment relationships with their careers services.

The three universities are all newer, ‘Post-92’ universities and have a combined student population of over 46,500. Their actions come after Birkbeck, University of London were announced in September as the first university in the UK to end fossil fuel industry recruitment on campus. Wrexham Glyndwr University now becomes the first in Wales to do the same, but so far no Scottish universities have followed suit, despite the nation hosting COP26 just last year.

The campaign, coordinated by student-led campaigning charity People & Planet, demands university careers services cut ties with the oil, gas and mining industries on both climate and human rights grounds, and in solidarity with communities most affected by fossil fuel extraction. Fossil Free Careers has been backed by both staff and students, receiving official endorsements from both the UK’s largest student and staff bodies, National Union of Students (NUS) and the University and College Union (UCU).

J Clarke, Co-Director of Climate Campaigns at People & Planet said:

‘All three of these universities should be recognised for their climate leadership, being early adopters of Fossil Free Careers sets a strong precedent in the UK’s higher education sector. It is vital that our universities show with actions, not words that they are taking the side of climate justice, and not of the industries driving us deeper into a climate crisis that is harming the least responsible first and worst.’

Lynda Powell, Executive Director of Operations, at Wrexham Glyndwr University said:

‘As part of our ongoing environmental sustainability strategy, Wrexham Glyndwr University are striving to improve our environmental performance and are working to provide education for sustainable development to all our students. Our Ethical Careers Policy is key to ensuring that university students are presented with opportunities to reflect upon, understand and articulate their own values. This gives graduates the confidence to align themselves with institutions and organisations whose values align with their own. With many graduate recruiters adopting a values-based selection process, the approach adopted here, supports future generations to make meaningful career decisions, in order to secure appropriate and meaningful employment. Through this, we are supporting the development of a sustainable work force for the future, coupled with taking ambitious steps to achieve the Welsh Government target of Net Zero for the public sector by 2030.’

Professor David Mba, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Knowledge Exchange and Enterprise) at University of the Arts, London said:

“UAL is committed to supporting our students and graduates to secure quality temporary and permanent employment. 77% of workers in the creative sector have undertaken unpaid work experience – we believe our students and graduates should be paid fairly for their skills and expertise. Our Student and Graduate Employment Policy reconfirms the university’s commitment to not support, advertise or arrange unpaid projects or internships outside the curriculum. Through UAL Arts Temps (UALAT), an accredited Living Wage Employer, we’re able to provide well-paid work for students and graduates in roles across UAL as well as with external companies looking to tap into our network of incredible talent. In line with UAL’s commitment to climate justice and its social purpose, UALAT does not work with companies in the fossil fuel, mining, arms or tobacco industries”

Lauren Hole, Students’ Union President at Wrexham Glyndwr University said:

The news of Wrexham Glyndwr University being the first in Wales to commit to a Fossil Free Careers policy is welcomed by Wrexham Glyndwr Students’ Union. It’s yet another example of our University’s continued effort to implement positive change for our students, and we hope that this will act as a catalyst for neighbouring Welsh institutions to follow suit in striving for excellence in both ethical and sustainable practice.


  • Oliver Furlong 2 years ago 0

    It's a good start to prevent recruitment directly from fossil fuel companies, but it seems easy for universities not directly related to energy, engineering, geology, or mining related subjects to do so. It would be even better if the universities already signed up went a step further to prevent all companies that are connected to planetary destruction such as fast fashion & junk food related industries. Why not inlcude other high carbon emmtting product related industries for the universities that have signed up? Taking the easy route for universities to claim green credentials is not going to solve the climate crisis.

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