The National Union of Students has launched a research project to understand the experiences of Jewish students in the UK, in a first-of-its-kind study.

Jewish student representatives welcomed the move as an opportunity for concerns to be expressed, after several demonstrations against Israeli speakers on campus turned violent.

It is the first time that the national student body has examined the experiences of a particular faith group while at university, and all self-defining Jewish students will be asked for their thoughts on the culture of debate and their experiences in lecture halls.

NUS said it would work with the Union of Jewish Students to develop recommendations for students’ unions, with findings due to be published in March 2017.

NUS vice president Rob Young said: “I want to make sure the doors of the student movement are open to everyone and to do this, we need to hear directly from Jewish students how they are feeling on campus.

“It’s so important we make sure universities are inclusive and welcoming to Jewish people, and students’ views are vital in helping us to identify any issues and work to resolve them.”

A spokeswoman for UJS paid tribute to Young, and said it was “an important piece of research,” that would help Jewish students feel welcome in universities.

“With many Jewish students expressing negative feelings about the student movement in recent months, this is a welcome opportunity for them to formally express their experiences of being Jewish students on UK campuses in 2016,” she said.