Edi Uni spent over £230k on the Kings Spiegeltent, which was only open for 46 days
There were only 1076 visits to the Spiegeltent, which works out at £218 per visit
The Spiegeltent, the Kings Campus equivalent of the Bristo Square Scandi Bar, cost a total of £234,635 to build and was only open for a total of 46 days, according to data obtained by an Edinburgh University PhD student.
This means that the price per day to keep the Spiegeltent open was £5100.
The Spiegeltent had a total of 1076 visitors during that time, making the price per visit £218.
The University and Colleges Union (UCU) that represents academic staff told The Edinburgh Tab the uni “has money to burn on vanity projects like this” whilst pushing “a narrative of financial insecurity” to staff and students alike.
This has angered many Edinburgh Uni staff and students, as it was also revealed earlier this year that Edinburgh Uni spent over £400,000 building the unpopular Scandi Bar.
The UCU tweeted their anger at the cost of both the Speigeltent and Scandi Bar by saying: “Jonny’s FOI revealed that @EdinburghUni spent £234,635 on this “Spiegeltent” while justifying a staff hiring freeze & threatening austerity measures across the University.”
The UCU also tweeted: “They also spent over £7,000 PER DAY on a “Scandi-style bar” in Bristo Square at a time when management were threatening many schools with budget cuts & pushing a University-wide severance scheme. We should be investing in teaching, not vanity projects.”
The UCU is preparing for a vote tomorrow in which members will decide whether to take industrial action against many universities, over issues with pay and pension reductions, among other things.
A spokesperson for The UCU told The Edinburgh Tab: “The fact that Edinburgh has money to burn on vanity projects like this while staff are forced to ballot for strike action over pension cuts says a lot about the University’s priorities.
“Last week, the Vice Principal described 35 per cent cuts to staff pensions as ‘fantastic news’ for the University’s finances and celebrated a ‘larger than expected surplus’ off the back of cuts and underspending during Covid.
“What is evident is that University management continues to put profit over people. Working conditions are learning conditions, no one cares about this Spiegeltent, and students at Edinburgh deserve better.”
A spokesperson for Edinburgh University said: “The building in question was designed to provide essential extra space for our students on a temporary basis, as capacity in existing buildings was greatly reduced as a result of the pandemic.
“This extra space allowed students to meet, study and socialise at a time when government restrictions limited normal social interactions. By providing this additional space, the University – as part of a series of measures – sought to safeguard the wellbeing of students, staff and the local community during a time when government restrictions were changing in relation to the pandemic. Like all organisations, the University complied with these as necessary.”