UK's Secretary of State for Education Gavin Williamson told UK universities that they must adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's (IHRA) definition of antisemitism by the end of the year or risk loss of funding, The Jewish Chronicle (JC) reported. The warning was sent to university vice chancellors in a letter on Friday.The letter invites university leadership to discus reservations about the IHRA with Williamson but in it Williamson also warns that "if I have not seen the overwhelming majority of institutions adopting the definition by Christmas then I will act." Education officials are already exploring options for "robust actions" that Williamson could take if universities do not meet the deadline. These actions include suspending funding. A survey from the Union of Jewish Students showed that nearly 80% of universities have not yet adopted the definition, which was accepted by the UK's government in 2016, the JC reported.In the letter, Williamson said that he was "surprised that some universities have actively chosen not to use this straightforward way to demonstrate clearly that they do not tolerate antisemitism," and that in doing so "are letting down all their staff and students, and, shamefully, their Jewish students in particular."Williamson said that without the definition "Jewish students say they simply do not feel protected, should they be subject to an antisemitic attack, whether physically, verbally or online and, sadly, we are hearing of an upturn in online incidents since the start of the pandemic.”The Secretary also addressed recent events saying that "universities have rightly been quick over the summer to demonstrate their readiness to take action against other forms of racism, it is frankly disturbing that so many are dragging their feet on the matter of antisemitism."He went on to emphasize that "the repugnant belief that antisemitism is somehow a less serious, or more acceptable, form of racism has taken insidious hold in some parts of British society."The IHRA composed their definition of antisemitism because in order to address the phenomenon, "there must be clarity about what antisemitism is." Williamson included part of the definition in the letter, along with a link to contemporary examples of the manifestation of antisemitism provided by the IHRA along with the definition.