These are the universities that ramped up their security spending this academic year
One uni increased its security spend by £1.5 million
Last week Manchester University put up a bunch of fences around uni accommodation, claiming they were “new security measures” to help protect students from outsiders coming into the accommodation. Students quickly tore them down, but this failed attempt at “security” cost the university 11 grand. £11,000.
Elsewhere, at the University of Leeds, security guards with dogs routinely patrol campus. In the North East, Newcastle and Northumbria University helped fund an operation to increase police patrols around student areas until Christmas. In this same student area, security confronted a student household for singing Wii Karaoke too loudly. The phrase “police state” has been thrown around a few times, let’s put it like that.
As it turns out, a fair few universities ramped up their security spending ahead of this term. Information obtained through Freedom of Information requests show that eleven universities increased their security budgets or forecasts for this academic year, with some universities spending as much as £1.5million more in 2020/2021.
Among the highest spenders in security is Queen Mary University of London, who increased their security forecasts for this year by over £155,000. Sheffield Hallam also spent a projected extra £41,000 despite spending only £8,496 on meals for their self isolating students.
The highest spender of all though, is King’s College London, who spent a whopping £11.3mil on security last year but decided to increase it by an estimated £1.5mil this year, taking their total up to £12,938,446.
York, who spend relatively little on security (just £98,242 last year), have had a very large proportional increase in spending, ramping up their outgoings by a forecasted £63,000.
Brighton University also increased their security spending by nearly £60,000, but the same Freedom of Information request revealed that they spent only £12,031 on meals for self isolating students.
Students are feeling the looming presence of this increased security. One uni student told The Tab: “They patrol our student areas. If they think you’re having a house party or people over, they appear at the front and back of the house to catch anyone trying to sneak out.”
Another student who studies at Sheffield Hallam, one of the unis to increase their spending substantially, said that security has even been increased outside of the library: “There’s a security guard there like… 24/7. It seems pointless as we’re hardly even at uni.”