The University of Essex have released the outcome of their investigation into the experiences of their Jewish students and staff. This investigation was announced as part of a series of measures taken by the University in response to two antisemitic incidents in February, namely the opposition to the establishment of a Jewish Society at the university, alongside the antisemitic social media postings of a member of academic staff.
Our statement can be read below:
‘The events of last February, namely the opposition to the establishment of a Jewish Society at the university, alongside the antisemitic social media postings of a member of academic staff, were extremely troubling and worrying for Jewish students at the university and nationwide. We commend the University of Essex for accepting the existence of a problem with antisemitism at the university, and focusing efforts on to eliminating it from their campus.
The findings of the report into the Experiences of Jewish Students and Staff at the University of Essex came across many issues faced by Jewish students nationally, including lack of faith in university complaints procedures, poor Kosher food provision, and the experience of Jewish students facing a ‘variety of forms of direct and casual antisemitism’.
The recommendations made in the report are exemplary and cover basic steps universities should be taking to make sure their Jewish students feel welcome on campus. Many of these recommendations should be rolled out sector wide and we call on other universities to learn from this report and look to adopt them. The commissioning of this report, along with actions taken by the University of Essex since February should serve as a guide to others as the appropriate response to concerns raised about antisemitism. We would like to thank the University of Essex for the important steps they are taking to tackle antisemitism and look forward to continuing our work with them in making the University the best place it can be for Jewish students.’