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Universities: Antisemitism

Question for Department for Education

UIN 3741, tabled on 17 May 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of anti-Semitic hate crime directed towards (a) university students and (b) academics in the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

24 May 2022

As part of our work to tackle the scourge of antisemitism, the government works closely with the Community Security Trust, a charity whose purpose is to provide safety, security, and advice to the Jewish community – and who publish annual data about the number of antisemitic incidents in the UK. Their figures for 2021 show a record number of antisemitic incidents within higher education (HE).

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, and I hosted an antisemitism summit in January this year, with vice chancellors and leading Jewish groups to discuss measures seeking to put an end to antisemitic incidents in HE. At the summit, we set out clear actions, including spotting patterns of incidents, spreading good practice, and adopting training from the Union of Jewish Students, so the sector has the right tools to tackle this issue more effectively. The HE sector is taking forward these commitments as a matter of urgency.

To further this work, an antisemitism taskforce led by Lord Mann, the government’s independent advisor on antisemitism, has been set up. The taskforce will look at all aspects of antisemitism on campus and will address the safety of everyone on campus, including students, staff, members, and visitors. Members of the taskforce will also speak directly with providers where antisemitism has been a recognised problem.

The findings and recommendations of the antisemitism taskforce will be made public once the work reaches its conclusion.