Birmingham MP raises ‘serious concerns’ as UoB announce extra courses on Dubai campus

They announced it days after UoB academics voted to boycott the campus


The Edgbaston MP, Preet Kaur Gill, has raised “serious concerns” after The University of Birmingham announces new study programmes are to be added to the Dubai campus in the next academic year

On Monday the University of Birmingham announced its decision to add to the study programmes available at it's Dubai campus despite growing concerns about student safety and an academic boycott of the campus

The University said it will be opening new study programmes in BSc Accounting and Finance, BSc Money Banking and Finance and LLM International Law and Globalisation, starting in the next academic year of 2019/20.

Last week, after Durham student Matt Hedges was given a life sentence due to being accused of spying while collecting information for his PhD thesis, Birmingham UCU members voted for an academic boycott of the Dubai campus. Hedges has since been pardoned by the UAE, but threats to students and staff remain the same.

There have also been various concerns about the safety of LGBTQ+ students and staff at the campus and the University have failed to guarantee the safety of it's community members on campus. The ethical nature of the campus has also recently come into question as a result of the treatment of migrant workers to build the campus.

The MP for Edgbaston, Mrs Preet Kaur Gill, told The Birmingham Tab, “I have raised my serious concerns over the University of Birmingham’s Dubai campus with David Eastwood and the university on a number of occasions. I will continue to urge them to work towards a resolution that ensures that the rights of staff and students working in the UAE are respected.”

The Birmingham Tab spoke to Mr James Brackley, President of the Birmingham UCU, who said that they were "disappointed to learn the University of Birmingham is continuing to add new courses to the Dubai campus when serious concerns about the safety of staff and student in the UAE remain unresolved."

He continued, "The University has failed to provide clear assurances over LGBTQ rights, academic freedom, and the treatment of migrant construction workers who are expected to build the new campus, despite these having been raised by the campus trade unions, the University's Rainbow Network, The Guild of Students and, most recently, Shadow Minister for International Development and local Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill."