Jewish students have welcomed a ‘constructive’ report into university harassment, including anti-Semitic abuse.
Friday’s release of the Universities UK Taskforce (UUK) report was praised by the Union of Jewish Students, for providing “productive and encouraging” recommendations to tackle anti-Semitism on campus.
The UUK publication examines “violence against women, harassment and hate crime”, and details the need for better reporting of anti-Semitism and stronger support by academic institutions for Jewish students to speak out.
It says, that although there have been a “relatively low number of reported incidents, Jewish community leaders have raised concerns with UUK about anti-Semitism on campus”.
It identifies “a number of ongoing issues and occasions where Jewish students feel hostility on campus.” It says “there is a concern that students are not coming forward” to report hate, and that “universities do not always strike the right balance between ensuring freedom of speech and academic freedom, and respect for Jewish students.”
The Union of Jewish Students (UJS) said the report will “hopefully lay the foundations for a more tolerant and inclusive campus environment for all.”
They add, that “on anti-Semitism, the recommendations provided are productive and encouraging, and reflect the level of positive engagement between Universities UK and UJS.”
“This includes the importance of robust reporting mechanisms and the provision of training for institutions to develop a better understanding of the broader ethnic and national dimension to Jewish identity. Tackling anti-Semitism is not limited to arguments of faith, and it is welcome that the report identifies that.”
The report cites the Community Security Trust’s Antisemitic Incident Report 2015, claiming that out of the 924 anti-Semitic incidents for that year, the victims in 21 cases were related to the Jewish student community.