12 April 2022
Universities: Antisemitism (IHRA Definition)

I would like to make it clear that I condemn all acts of antisemitism in the strongest possible terms. Any discrimination or intimidation based on religion or race is deplorable and must not be tolerated, and I welcome the action that has been taken to tackle antisemitism in recent years. I am especially proud that the UK was the first country to adopt the working definition of antisemitism as set by the IHRA, setting an example for the world to follow.

I welcome that the Department for Education (DfE) has called upon Higher Education providers to sign up to the IHRA definition, and it is encouraging that 95 universities have currently signed up, increasing from 67 universities in September 2020. However, the decision to adopt the IHRA definition rests with individual providers. Although, let me reassure you that the Government will continue to urge all Higher Education providers adopt the definition.

More broadly, I welcome that the Government is continuing to work to tackle antisemitism in educational settings. The DfE held an antisemitism summit in January 2022 to discuss new measures and initiatives to combat this issue in universities, such as training workshops for all education providers from the Union of Jewish Students.  Moreover, the Department for Education has provided a number of recommendations to university leaders to tackle racial harassment, such as improving awareness and introducing robust reporting systems.