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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 June 2007, 20:10 GMT 21:10 UK
Mugabe stripped of degree honour
Robert Mugabe
Robert Mugabe has carried out a brutal regime in Zimbabwe
Edinburgh University's Senate has agreed to strip Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe of his honorary degree.

It comes after years of campaigning by politicians and students because of Mugabe's brutal regime.

In 1984 Robert Mugabe was honoured by Edinburgh University "for services to education in Africa".

The formal process to withdraw the degree will now begin. Mr Mugabe will be contacted in writing and given the opportunity to respond.

University secretary Melvyn Cornish said that much more evidence about Mr Mugabe's regime has come to light since the degree was conferred.

Announcing the Senate's decision, he said: "The university has been acutely aware of ongoing developments in Zimbabwe and of recent representations made by the Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) with regards to Robert Mugabe's honorary degree.

"It has responded to those representations by taking this unprecedented decision to revoke the degree."

The Students' Association is extremely pleased that the Senate's decided to take this course of action
Melvyn Cornish
University secretary

Mr Cornish denied there was any cause for embarrassment over the affair.

The initial decision to confer an honorary degree was made in good faith on the basis of information available at the time, he said.

Professor Sir Neil MacCormick was one of the three academics who carried out the investigation into the case.

Tim Goodwin, president of the EUSA, said it was a proud day for students of the university.

It will look like the West is demonising Mr Mugabe but the reality is that he's not treating his fellow compatriots right
Joe Noutoua Wandah, Accra

He said: "The Students' Association is extremely pleased that the Senate's decided to take this course of action.

"It's a campaign that started in the Students' Association the best part of two years ago.

"It's something that I think it's safe to say students are united on."

The controversy surrounding Robert Mugabe's degree reached Westminster, with Edinburgh South Labour MP Nigel Griffiths tabling a motion in the Commons to have the degree withdrawn.

It is understood Michigan State University and The University of Massachusetts in the US are also considering stripping degrees from Mugabe.

He has run Zimbabwe with his Zanu-PF party since independence from white rule in 1980.

See what the protest was about

Should Mugabe lose degree honour?
07 Jun 07 |  Have Your Say
'Wise men' examine Mugabe degree
14 May 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Motion to strip Mugabe of degree
19 Apr 07 |  Edinburgh and East
Living in Mugabe's Zimbabwe
18 Apr 07 |  Africa

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