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Statement in response to protests

24 May 2024

The University has a long history in supporting the community and in many instances UC students have been at the forefront of such engagement with communities; the most recent being the Student Volunteer Army. UC values its engagement with students and the student voice is an important consideration in our academic endeavours.

After dialogue with the UC Students For Justice in Palestine the following was clarified and agreed.

The University of Canterbury expresses concern about conflicts across the globe impacting students, scholars and universities. The right to an accessible education is at the heart of UC’s strategy. UC wishes to see the restoration of human rights for all people so they can learn free from risk of harm.

The University of Canterbury contributes to this through its full membership of the Scholars at Risk Network whose mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom. The University will continue to use that mechanism as a way to support displaced scholars and also has offered scholarships to refugees.

The University holds our investments to high ethical standards. The University’s funds (which includes student tuition fees and government funding) is managed in accordance with the University’s Treasury Management Framework which is publicly available online. The University confirms that it adheres to the Policy requirements and University funds are only invested with banks.

In addition, there are two separate funds where wider investments are made: 

The University ofCanterbury Trust Funds and the University of Canterbury Foundation. The University of Canterbury Trust receives donations and uses those toward scholarships. The fund is managed through a Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives (SIPO). The SIPO details how the funds will be invested and specifically states the following:

“The Council has a formal resolution that funds should not knowingly be invested in tobacco or armaments companies or in the gaming industry”.

Additionally, under a separate legal entity called the University of Canterbury Foundation, a separate fund exists. Donations to that fund are also used for scholarships. That fund is invested through a separate Statement of Investment Policy and Objectives (SIPO). The SIPO which the fund manager is required to adhere to specifically states on page 20 of the document the following:

“The Board has an ethical investment policy that funds should not directly be invested in the following:

• Tobacco

• Armaments

• Gaming Industry”.

UC purchasing is done in line with the UC Procurement Policy which is published on the UC website (Procurement Policy). This policy serves as a framework to guide the procurement processes and promote responsible and ethical behaviour of University staff and students when engaging and dealing with third parties. Of note is the requirement related to sustainability and ethics: “Integrating sustainability and ethical considerations into procurement decisions. This includes evaluating suppliers for their environmental, cultural, economic and social responsibility practices”. The procurement policy is in line with the Government Procurement Principles and Government Procurement Charter (both publicly available online).

UC has a long history of supporting students impacted by all forms of violence and will continue to work with affected students, student clubs and societies to support those impacted.


Professor Cheryl de la Rey

Tumu Whakarae | Vice-Chancellor

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