Antisemitism in Universities

Birmingham City University

International Definition of Antisemitism

University

The University does not appear to have adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

The University has told Campaign Against Antisemitism that: “The IHRA [International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance] definition has been included in the [email protected] policy which was launched on 22 September 2021. The policy uses the definition of Antisemitism from the IHRA but it does not include the illustrative examples. The OfS [Office for Students] have been informed accordingly, and have included BCU on the list of Universities adopting the definition.”

As part of its response, the University provided to Campaign Against Antisemitism the minutes of a meeting on an unknown date in 2021. The minutes stated: “We sent a return to OfS stating that the definition is included in our [email protected] policy which can  be found on our website. Noting that we did not state that we have adopted the definition as we  had issue with the corresponding examples, viewing these as potentially restricting political free  speech. The OfS have accepted our response.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism considers the examples to be integral to the Definition, without which an adoption is not complete. In a statement on 7th August 2018, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance reiterated the integrality of the examples to the Definition.

This information was obtained after Campaign Against Antisemitism submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on 7th July 2020. On 3rd August 2020, the University responded. On 29th January 2021, the University updated its response with a further update on 24th November 2021.

Students’ Union

When asked on 23rd July 2020, Birmingham City University Students’ Union failed to confirm whether it has adopted the International Definition of Antisemitism.

Incidents

No incidents have been reported to us, however we recognise that antisemitism is chronically underreported and it is possible that there are incidents that have not been reported. To report an incident, please contact us.

Jewish life on campus

The incidence of antisemitism on a university campus and how the university and its students’ union address antisemitism are matters of serious concern. At the same time, they do not represent the totality of Jewish life on any campus. For further information about Jewish life on campus, please contact the local Jewish Society or Jewish chaplain.

No student should have to endure antisemitism. Campaign Against Antisemitism provides specialist help to students who have experienced antisemitism, including free legal representation. For assistance with antisemitism on campus, please contact us.