An umbrella organization representing the administrative heads of British universities released a statement on Wednesday reaffirming its opposition to an academic boycott of Israeli institutions of higher learning.
“The board of Universities UK is committed to the free exchange of ideas between universities and between academics, regardless of nationality or location,” the statement read. “The board therefore firmly opposes academic boycotts on the basis that they are inimical to academic freedom, including the freedom of academics to collaborate with other academics.”The board was moved to issue its statement one day after the National Union of Students passed a motion to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israeli companies and firms that do business with Israel.
“Given the reported perception in Israel that UK universities support an academic boycott, the board of Universities UK wishes to confirm its previously stated position that it is firmly opposed to any academic boycott of Israeli universities,” it said. “The board also confirms its view that all universities must uphold, in the interests of free expression of ideas, the fundamental right of academics to question national and international policies.”