ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners camped out in a key University of Glasgow building last night in a protest against 'unethical' investments - a month after a similar protest was scuppered. 

Glasgow University students gathered to protest the establishment's involvement with the arms trade and potential 're-engagement' with fossil fuel investments.

More than 20 students are understood to have taken part in the start of a week of protests by Extinction Rebellion University of Glasgow (XRGU) titled 'decarbonise, decolonise, democratise'

The protesters claim through casual contracts, overworking staff and the lack of action over ethnic and gender pay-gaps, staff mental health is suffering, class sizes are growing exponentially and many staff find themselves working overtime in stressful conditions to prepare for class material.

They are also concerned that a "pledge" to divest from fossil fuels by 2025 is not happening quickly enough and claim nearly £12m is still invested in fossil fuel industries.

Kirsty Purves, 21, studying politics at the University, said: “The University of Glasgow is well known for its contribution to international research, and links with universities across the world

"Especially in the context of the climate crisis, the University is especially fortunate, being the first European University to begin divestment, and the first Scottish University to declare a climate emergency. 

"But despite all this, it doesn’t do enough to actually tackle the climate crisis. There is very little education, regardless of subject, on the climate crisis, and students are rarely democratically consulted on the University’s sustainability policies.” 

The protests come after previous plans to occupy parts of the campus were scuppered when they advertised their intentions in advance.

Gil Anderson, 21, also studying politics at the University, said: “At a midway point in their ten-year commitment, the University is contemplating reneging on this promise because it has not seen ‘large enough returns’. 

"While this is not set in stone, we believe it is important that the University understands that they cannot backtrack on its promises to students and must understand their accountability to the staff and students they represent." 

The University of Glasgow was the first UK university to divest from fossil fuel companies in October 2014 in whas was described as a turning point for the British arm of the student-led global divestment movement.

After 12 months of campaigning, led by the Glasgow University Climate Action Society and involving over 1,300 students, the university court voted to begin divesting £18m from the fossil fuel industry and freeze new investments across its entire endowment of £128m.

And this was soon followed by major divestments after sustained campaigns at institutions including Warwick, Sheffield, King’s College London, Edinburgh and Durham.

A spokesperson for the University said: "A small number of student protesters camped overnight in our cloisters area.

"They have been entirely peaceful in their action and the University is satisfied that there is no risk to health and safety.

"Senior management have previously met with student leaders to discuss divestment and it is an issue that is being considered by the University court."