Remembering Gatumba

By Aug.25, 2014



For a while now we’ve been working in partnership with the Salford Forum for Refugees and People Seeking Asylum, and so I was pleased to be able to help when Alexis Murura Shama asked me to speak at the memorial ceremony for the tenth anniversary of the Gatumba Massacre.

Alexis, who is a graduate of the Salford Business School and a member of the Salford Forum, is Banyamulenge, a Congolese community from the high plateaus of South Kivu, above Lake Tanganyika. Ten years ago, displaced by years of violence that had culminated in the Rwanda genocide of 1994, a large group of Banyamulenge refugees were living in a UN-supervised camp at Gatumba, a small town in Burundi close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Class of ‘92

By Aug.18, 2014

14858541135_a364b5d50c_bSalford’s A J Bell Stadium was sold out – capacity 12,000 – for the much anticipated match between Salford City and their owners, the Class of ’92 consortium of Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes. Full disclosure: I know little about football. So I had a steep learning curve in the stands with five coachloads of our staff, students and prospective students and our Student Union leadership. It’s still not clear to me what the guy who clung to the crossbar of the goal posts like a determined orangutan was trying to achieve, as he was prised off bit-by-bit by four beleaguered security guards. But there was a clear, finger-wagging message in the outcome. It doesn’t matter how famous you are; teamwork trumps celebrity.


Demented Choirs of Wailing Shells

By Aug.11, 2014

On Sunday August 3, the day before the 100th anniversary of Britain’s declaration of war on Germany, the centenary was commemorated in Manchester Cathedral.

Bishop David Walker’s ceremony was in Manchester’s radical tradition. He remembered the mud, rats, fear and death rather than the hubris of nationalism and empire. The ceremony marked the roles of ordinary men and women from across the North West who then, as now, contributed significantly to the rank and file of the armed forces.  The emphasis in his sermon was on our common humanity; that the World War engulfed people from across continents; that this diversity was a strength then, and remains a strength a century later.


A meeting of minds in Rio

By Aug.04, 2014

Santander is an unusual bank. Some fifteen years ago, Santander sponsored its first network of universities in Spain. Since then, the network has expanded across the Ibero-American community, initially to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Uni>ersia, as it’s branded, now covers all Ibero-American countries and, from 2008 onwards, has incorporated the US and significant number of British universities.


Faith and the University Community

By Jul.28, 2014

What role should faith play in the daily life of the university? Some take the view that we should be rigorously secular, seeing faith as a personal matter that should be expressed away from the campus. In this approach, the work of learning, teaching and research should be organised independently from the needs of any specific faith group. But in practical terms, this is close to impossible in a country that organises its week and its public holidays around one specific religion and which requires “reasonable accommodation” with regard to equality and diversity. Other universities are faith-based by tradition and charter. More broadly, the recent controversy concerning schools in Birmingham has raised questions about faith-based and secular education and implications for funding.