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Universities: Antisemitism

Question for Department for Education

UIN 132533, tabled on 25 January 2023

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to tackle antisemitism in UK universities.

Answered on

2 February 2023

This report that shows that the National Union of Students (NUS) has, over a number of years, systematically failed to represent the interests of Jewish students, and failed to tackle antisemitic practices within its own organisation. This is not acceptable. The NUS should be an organisation where Jewish students not only feel safe to be themselves, but where their full and equal participation is actively welcomed.

Higher education (HE), more broadly, should do all it can to root out antisemitism. The recent Community Security Trust (CST) report showing a 22% increase in antisemitic incidents on campus over the last two years is deeply concerning.

The department has encouraged HE providers to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, to have absolute clarity of what constitutes antisemitic behaviour. 245 providers in England have adopted the IHRA definition, including the vast majority of universities. We would urge those providers that have not yet adopted to the definition to do so, and for those that have, to ensure that they are fully complying with the definition.