The fair took place on Monday at the Student Services CentreTiraden / Wikimedia Commons

Students have expressed their anger at a number of controversial companies’ presence at a Cambridge careers fair, from the nuclear and arms industries.

MBDA, AWE, and Subsea7 were among the companies present at the Graduate Schemes and Internships Fair on Monday (09/10).

Demilitarise Cambridge, a student campaign group, believes that this “is evidence of the University’s continued and insidious relationship with arms companies.”

MBDA, a multinational missiles manufacturer, was present at Monday’s event, a graduate schemes and internships fair. The company produces 45 products, including surface-to-air and anti-ship missiles.

MBDA came under fire in 2017 after it was confirmed in Parliament that weapons produced by the company had been used in the Yemen.

Another of the companies present was the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE), which manufactures the UK’s nuclear warheads, and works in close partnership with the Ministry of Defence.

“We are disappointed that the University continues to endorse and promote companies who are complicit in humanitarian crises, or whose weapons of mass destruction have the potential to cause humanitarian crises,” Demilitarise Cambridge continued.

One student activist, who was present at the fair, told Varsity: “I was shocked that Cambridge University was happy to associate with weapons manufacturers.”

“It’s sickening that the careers service engaged in no ethical filtering at all about who should be platformed at their events,” the student present at the event said.

This student was also outraged by the presence of the Home Office at the fair, and protested their stall with a placard. The student felt the need to draw attention to the “hate speech and fear-mongering [...] as well as [the] blatant, horrific disregard for international laws of human rights,” that they feel is perpetrated by the department.


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AWE told Varsity that they are “proud to support the defence of the United Kingdom (UK). AWE’s team of remarkable people includes scientists, engineers and technologists who are among the best in the world and carry out extraordinary work in support of UK and international safety and security.”

Jenny Blakesley, Director of the Careers Service, said: “The Careers Service offers an impartial service. This impartiality is core to our work and is written into our membership body’s professional standards and code of ethics."

"Our aim is to ensure that students and recent graduates are able to make decisions based on their own unique circumstances, aspirations and values," she said. 

MBDA was contacted for comment.