University of Birmingham statement - event on campus on 7 February


We take the concerns about the event on campus on 7 February very seriously and have been working quickly to investigate the circumstances and take action. This has included working closely with West Midlands Police.

The police have confirmed that they are investigating two racially-aggravated public order offences and are carrying out further enquiries. We will be assisting the police with this investigation. We take allegations of harassment or discrimination very seriously and will also be investigating such allegations in accordance with our policies and procedures. The University unequivocally condemns antisemitism.

The safety of all our students and staff is of paramount importance and we are committed to providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment. In the last week, we have met with a range of student representatives to discuss the situation and listen to their concerns, including the University’s Jewish Society and Islamic Society.

To help ensure our students and staff feel safe around our campus, we have consulted with the police about additional measures that we can put in place. Our Community Safety and Security teams have increased their visible presence around campus, and we have also had confirmation from the police that they will be undertaking additional patrols around the campus and community neighbourhoods.

Our Security team is available 24/7 and can provide additional support to those within our community who are concerned. Where students feel that a particular event they are organising would benefit from additional security to provide reassurance, they should notify the Security team, and this will be provided. We also strongly encourage the use of SafeZone, a free mobile app that is available to all University staff and students, which allows any member of our community to report directly to the Security Control room if they see, hear, experience or witness anything of concern.

We continue to work with our Guild of Students and student and staff groups and networks to ensure that they feel safe and supported. Students can access emotional support at any time through our dedicated helpline UB Heard. Staff can access free support through our Employee Assistance Programme.

We recognise that there are many strongly held views about the Israel-Palestine conflict, including within our student and staff populations. The University is firmly committed to freedom of speech and to allowing these views to be expressed lawfully and with respect, including through peaceful protests. This is the reason for the clear and established processes in our Freedom of Speech Code of Practice, whose aim is to allow activities such as these to be considered carefully and facilitated to take place safely and within the law.


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