Since its inception in 2010, the annual UJS-UJIA University Information Evening has welcomed prospective students along with their parents, to meet current students and find out about the university experience. It also provides an opportunity to meet the different communal organisations who will play a part in their lives once they reach university.
For the first time, a keynote speaker from beyond the Jewish community attended the event to offer advice and reassurance to Jewish students and the wider community: we were delighted to introduce Universities UK Chief Executive, Nicola Dandridge, as Keynote Speaker for the evening.
Ms Dandridge addressed and recognised the growing concerns surrounding antisemitism on campus, with a clear appreciation for the inexcusable rise of harassment on campus. She also updated the community on a range of interventions UUK and University leadership have taken and continue to take, working with UJS and CST to ensure the ongoing safety of all students, emphasising the need 'to ensure that Jewish students feel safe and [...] tackle antisemitism in an honest and positive way.’
Ms Dandridge also discussed the changing nature of study in the UK and impact that may have for students and parents.
UJS President Josh Seitler said: ‘UJS and Universities UK have a proud history of combining efforts to ensure that all Jewish students have a positive and safe experience on UK campuses. We’ve worked extensively together on improving external speaker guidelines for universities, protecting freedom of speech whilst ensuring that speakers are appropriately selected. Our recent cooperation on the UUK Harassment and Hate Crime Taskforce facilitated a roundtable on tackling campus antisemitism that brought together key sector and political leadership on antisemitism, providing robust outcomes, specifically on reporting and training, that will benefit many Jewish students in the future.’
The event also included a panel (pictured) featuring Josh Seitler (UJS President), Lindsay Davidson (UJS), Anthony Ashworth-Steen (UJIA), Jonny Newton (CST), Sophie Dunoff (Chaplaincy), student Rabbi Daniel Lichman (Liberal Judaism). Other organisations who also work with students were represented too.