A group of Aberystwyth University students are staging a week-long sit-in at Hugh Owen Library protesting the institution's supposed Israel links.

Up to 20 students sat in the library on Penglais Campus from 9am 27 May, staying overnight as part of a week of action.

A protest spokesperson said: “As an institution dedicated to investing in young people’s futures, it seems only right the university invest in all young people’s futures.

“We demand an update to the disclosure policy so students can know where our money is being spent.

“There is a link through Aberystwyth Uni to Israel’s genocidal actions through its QinetiQ working partnership.

“We demand the uni cuts ties with QinetiQ, or QinetiQ pull out of servicing Israel’s offensive on Gaza.”

Protestors raised a Palestine flag above the university campus
Protestors raised a Palestine flag above the university campus (Submitted)

QinetiQ aircraft engineering company, which has a base in Aberporth, is named as a ‘stakeholder’ with the university’s National Spectrum Centre.

QinetiQ has been linked to the production of the Watchkeeper Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) drone, created in partnership with Thales UK aerospace and defence company and Israeli Elbit Systems military technology company.

QinetiQ previously told Cambrian News it “does not provide weapons to Israel”, adding, “our thoughts are with all those affected by the conflict in Gaza”.

Students said university security “insisted they limit activities wherever possible”, but the university has otherwise been “officially silent on the matter”.

They added “morale is high and interest remains strong” amongst the protestors, including students from Socialist Society, Aber Liberals, Aber Labour, Aber Asian Society, Aber Conservation, PunkSoc, BiologySoc, Animal and Vet Soc, English and Creative Writing and AberBard.

An Aberystwyth University spokesperson said: “Aberystwyth University fully respects the right to freedom of speech and expression within the law. As an institution, we also encourage and recognise the value of sharing views and experiences, debate and challenge.

Aberystwyth University’s Penglais Campus picked up the Full Award
Aberystwyth University’s Penglais Campus (N/A)

“Our investments are in pooled funds. In line with the university’s Ethical Investment Policy, the managers of these pooled funds must be signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment as initiated by the then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2005.

“The university has strengthened its approach to socially responsible investments following a review of the policy and has appointed new investment advisors to implement this new approach.

“Subject to final approval by University Council, the new policy will reduce even further the already very small proportion of its pooled investments that might be invested indirectly with companies that do not meet its criteria.”