The OU’s platforming of arms dealers

An opinion piece written by Daniel Horne, an OU student.

The recent CareersFest offered a fantastic opportunity to explore opportunities after study – with one caveat… The prominent featuring of BAE Systems

For those unaware, BAE Systems is a weapons manufacturer and seller. In the past, they have sold weapons to Saudi Arabia, where they were used against civilians in Yemen, and more recently their weapons appear to have been used in Gaza. 

Platforming such a company makes a statement of support for their aims, goals, and profits – and, through featuring this company, the OU has implied its support

As a student, I strongly feel this goes against our collective values, and the university’s stated values

If you agree, you can file a complaint here;
Or vote for this issue to be discussed by the Student Association here;


All opinion pieces submitted to The Hoot are the thoughts, feelings and opinions of the author. Any OU student is able to and encouraged to submit articles in line with our submission guidelines.

Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

like like
disagree disagree
useful useful
fun fun
love love
lol lol
omg omg
Daniel Horne


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. I MUST object in the strongest terms this diatribe regarding BAE Systems.
    There is no attribution, just unsubstantiated bias.
    I am sure you would struggle to have this published in any other place.
    Agreed, we are all entitled to our opinion, but using this platform without proper citing or referencing or corroborated fact-checking does nothing but harm to Hoot, the OU Students Association and ultimately brings the OU itself into disrepute.
    Most of us are here to learn, not face a barrage of vitriol. We defend your right to free speech – but in the correct format and the right place.
    An immediate retraction should be the only rightful course.

  2. Hi Christopher!

    BAE systems themselves report strong ties with Saudi Arabia –
    Saudi Arabia is directly responsible for the war in Yemen, the horrific effects of which can be read about here –
    And also here –
    The UK government itself has confirmed the presence of UK manufactured fighter-jets in this conflict –
    These jets were unquestionably bought from BAE Systems –
    BAE even says so in their earnings reports –

    The stated humanitarian goals of the Open University are to “play a unique role in society, making higher education open to all” and also “promote social justice through the development of knowledge and skills”. –
    The results of the Saudi bombing of Yemen has been a devastation of their educational system, with 8.1 million children needing emergency educational support, according to UNICEF – (Please be aware this is a PDF file)

    Saudi Arabia has also committed crimes against humanity by firing on Ethiopian refugees; as reported by the Human Rights Watch. (Be aware this link is very disturbing) –
    This goes against the aforementioned value of the university to “promote social justice”.

    I agree my attribution was somewhat lacking within the article for the sake of brevity, but hopefully the above links go some way to remedy that. I have updated the article also, which I hope will be helpful.

    It is worth noting that, as the HOOT is not directly associated with the university itself, nor are articles representative of the administration’s views, I struggle somewhat to understand how this puts the university itself into “disrepute”?

    I am sorry if this post has made you uncomfortable; but as a quaker studying here I am uncomfortable with the university I attend having ties to arms dealers. I also apologise if my raising awareness of this issue has been perceived as vitriolic, let alone a “barrage”, but I believe OU students are intelligent enough to do what they want with this information and should be aware of these facts.

    The student paper is a place for all views and articles shared by students, so long as they are made in good faith. This article was also approved for publication by the site administrator. If you are aware of other spaces I should raise my issue, please make me aware.

    Hopefully that sheds some light onto my reasoning.
    All the best,
    Dan Horne