Fossil fuel companies have been banned from recruiting students through a university careers service for the first time. The new policy from Birkbeck, University of London, states its careers service “will not hold relationships of any kind with oil, gas or mining companies”.
The decision follows a campaign, supported by the student-led group People & Planet, to cut off recruitment pathways to fossil fuel companies. The campaign is now active in dozens of UK universities.
The group said universities have been “propping up the companies most responsible for destroying the planet”, while the climate crisis was “the defining issue of most students’ current lifetimes”.
The campaign is backed by the National Union of Students and the Universities and College Union, which represents academics and support staff. It calls on universities to end all relationships with fossil fuel companies. Student protests have already targeted fossil fuel careers events, including at Oxford University, where students blockaded an event by the mining group Glencore, and at Sheffield University, where a sit-in protest prevented BP and ExxonMobil events.
[Waseem Mohamed and Damian Carrington]