• SOAS plays host to anti-Israel activist Jackie Walker

    On Wednesday 13 September, the Khalili Lecture Theatre at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) hosted a performance entitled ‘The Lynching’ with controversial anti-Israel activist Jackie Walker. The event was advertised as “a one-woman show” and was co-hosted by SOAS Palestine Society and a group calling itself ‘Free Speech on Israel’. It is concerning that this one-sided event - the premise of which is that the Jewish community is weaponising claims of anti-Semitism in bad faith in order to suppress criticism of Israel - went ahead without balance. We strongly urge SOAS to not host events of this kind in future.

  • ‘Safeguarding Against Extremism in Higher Education’: Conference Review

  • UK Government distances itself from the British University in Egypt over antisemitism scandal

  • Recent successes highlight support for Prevent

    The past weeks have been awash with media stories of key Prevent successes. A high profile legal challenge to the government’s Prevent strategy was defeated at the High Court on 26 July. A few days later on 1 August, the Higher Education and Funding Council for England (HEFCE) released its assessment of universities’ compliance with Prevent, concluding that 95 per cent of providers were demonstrating “due regard to the Prevent duty”. Most recently, a senior Scotland Yard Police Officer, Cdr. Dean Haydon, has claimed that much criticism of Prevent is based on “ignorance”. These important developments demonstrate the legal foundations of Prevent as well as the extent of serious engagement with the policy within law enforcement and higher education. However, as Cdr. Haydon has identified, they also underscore the need to communicate Prevent more effectively to the wider community.

  • Universities UK unknowingly plays host to Hizb Ut-Tahrir

    It has been revealed that Jamal Harwood, a spokesman for the British branch of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, was invited to give a talk earlier this year at the London headquarters of Universities UK. His talk, entitled “Is the Caliphate a viable alternative for the Middle East?”, took place in April 2017 at the Woburn House Conference Centre, a building that they own. It is highly unfortunate that this speaker and organisation managed to escape their attention. Universities UK have clarified that they “will not allow the organiser to book any future events at the venue”. It is especially concerning that this took place at the headquarters of a body that prides itself on its work challenging extremism. This is clearly an episode where due diligence could have mitigated risks associated with outside speakers and avoided wider embarrassment.

About us

Student Rights is a non-partisan group dedicated to supporting equality, democracy and freedom from extremism on university campuses.

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