Birmingham's Stance on Proposal to Debate a Boycott of Israeli Universities

Posted on Wednesday 8th August 2007

The University of Birmingham fully endorses the position of Universities UK in relation to the proposed University and College Union motion to debate the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

Universities UK has issued the following statement, which Birmingham wholly supports.

"UCU members are free to debate the pros and cons of an institutional boycott of Israeli universities. Universities UK, however, would oppose any such boycott as this would seem to us to be inimical to academic freedom, including the freedom of academics to collaborate with other academics, regardless of nationality or location.

"It is very difficult to understand how such a boycott would be defensible given these obligations, and even harder to understand what beneficial effect it could possibly have.

"At the same time, we must uphold the fundamental right of academics to question government policies, including policies of the Israeli Government. Academics must have the freedom to voice that disagreement."