Universities: Antisemitism

Department for Education written question – answered at on 26 October 2023.

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Photo of Nicholas Fletcher Nicholas Fletcher Conservative, Don Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to protect Jewish university students from antisemitism at university campuses.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

It has been deeply concerning to see a rise in hate towards Jewish people following Hamas's heinous terrorist attacks in Israel. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I wrote to Vice Chancellors on 11 October 2023, urging them to respond swiftly to hate-related incidents and actively reassure Jewish students, so they can study without harassment or intimidation. We have also written to school and college leaders in similar terms.

On 23 October, I attended a meeting of the Jewish Community, Crime, Policing and Security Taskforce chaired by the Home Secretary, to discuss how we can crack down on any antisemitism or glorification of terrorism in schools, colleges, and universities. We are very clear; all education settings must take swift and robust action against this unacceptable behaviour.

The department is liaising closely with Community Security Trust, the University Jewish Chaplaincy, the Union of Jewish Students, and higher and further education mission groups. We are very aware of the impact of the evolving conflict on Jewish students and the steps being taken by education providers to support them.

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