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Israeli boycott: Russell Group response

30 May 2007

The Russell Group of the UK’s research-intensive universities today strongly condemned the motion passed by the University & College Union for branches to debate the Israeli boycott.

Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL and Chairman of the Russell Group, said: “We reject outright the call for an academic boycott. It is a contradiction in terms and in direct conflict with the mission of a university. It betrays a misunderstanding of the academic mission, which is founded squarely on freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech. Any institution worthy of the title of university has the responsibility to protect these values, and it is particularly disturbing to find an academic union attacking academic freedom in this way. The Russell Group universities will uphold academic freedom by standing firm against any boycott that threatens it.”