PRESSURE is mounting on Edinburgh University to pull investments from fossil fuel companies after Oxford University took a first step towards disinvestment.

Oxford said it had asked its endowment management fund, which looks after £2 billion, to avoid directly investing in coal and tar sands companies - although it stressed it had no current investments in those areas.

The move follows a resolution from Oxford's student union calling for the university to withdraw endowment fund investments from fossil fuels.

Andrew Taylor, a spokesman for campaigning group People and Planet, welcomed the move, but said it should be seen as a first step towards phasing out coal and tar sands investments.

Currently, students from Edinburgh University have occupied a management building to protest over the institution's recent decision to maintain investments in fossil fuels.