A leading Russell Group University has sparked major backlash after refusing Army recruiters at their Freshers’ fair.
The University of Bristol’s student union barred the Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) from setting up a stand on Friday, in a move branded “absurd” by the Defence Secretary.
The student body claimed they banned OTC from the event as it would “compete” with other “affiliated” organisations at the event.
OTC provides students with military training that fits around their degrees.
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“We assess requests made by unaffiliated groups on a case-by-case basis,” a student union spokesperson said.
“Considering a number of factors which have been communicated to the OTC, including that groups like the OTC offer an experience (such as making friends, developing leadership skills and adventure activities) which is very similar to, and therefore in direct competition with, our affiliated student groups.”
The decision was met with extreme backlash from the Defence Secretary who was quick to criticise the move, branding it “absurd and indefensible”.
“Reported bans on officer training corps and defence companies attending university events like freshers’ fairs or recruitment fairs are absurd and indefensible,” Grant Shapps said.