NUS response to ‘When Students Turn to Terror’

Commenting on the Glees report into extremist groups operating on university campuses, When Students Turn to Terror, NUS National President Kat Fletcher and NUS Black Students’ Officer Pav Akhtar said:

“The paper offers nothing to the serious debate about how to address terrorism in society.

“No evidence is presented to support the view that campus life contributes to students becoming involved in terrorism, other than that some individuals who have been, or are alleged to have been, involved in terrorist activity also attended a UK college at some point.

“The report proposes imposing quotas on the number of ethnic minority students attending any individual university; abolishing the ‘clearing’ system that allows students to find an alternative university if they have not achieved the grades needed for their first choice; forcing all student societies to include dons on their committees; and restricting academic discussion on certain topics.

“NUS fears that the report’s unsubstantiated claims have the potential to endanger Muslim students by inflaming a climate of racism, fear and hostility, and place a cloud over perfectly legitimate student Islamic societies.

“NUS is calling on its members to work together to engage all students and defend the rights of faith and cultural groups to self-organise as societies. Unions are encouraged to support minority student groups including the Islamic society, against any backlash or exclusion. We encourage student officers to meet with their Black and minority ethnic groups on campus at the beginning of term to ensure access to welfare and support provisions is clear and that students report any incidents of hate crime.”

Posted on educationet, 28 September 2005