University of Birmingham's response to recent events in Israel and Palestine

This page provides information about the University’s support for those affected by the events in Israel and Palestine.

We are all appalled by the continued tragedy of the ongoing conflict, by the loss of lives, and by the immense suffering. Many members of the University have family or friends who have been affected, and to the very worst extent possible. We are working to ensure all members of the University community are supported as much as possible, and we will continue to respond as appropriate as the situation develops.

We know that this is a difficult time for our whole University community, and that there’s unlikely to be a quick resolution. We know too that many people will have strong views about the situation. The University must be a supportive, safe, and hopeful space, in which all views, beliefs and opinions can be expressed lawfully and respectfully.

Inevitably, this will lead to disagreement: sometimes sharp disagreement. But we must be able to disagree without people fearing for their personal safety. The overwhelming majority of protests we have seen on campus have been respectful of this fundamental principle and it is imperative that we remain a place that is tolerant of vibrant debate without tipping over a line.

Welfare support for students

The University has contacted directly affected students to offer welfare and other types of support. Any student who is affected, emotionally, psychologically, is strongly encouraged to visit the Your wellbeing page if they have not done so already. There is a wellbeing team in every School and College for any support that may be required, particularly with academic commitments. Students can also access our 24/7/365 emotional support helpline UBHeard.

If you are in the region and you are unable to access online teaching or resources, please make contact with your Department/School at the earliest opportunity so they can review how they might be able to support your learning.

Welfare support for staff

There is 24/7 access for all staff and immediate family to our employee assistance programme. Our Report and Support portal provides information for staff and students who wish to report any harassment or discrimination. Given the acute nature of the crisis, however, if you—or someone you know—needs further support, then please let your manager know.

Travel and visas

If you have any research or fieldwork planned in the region, you must keep up-to-date with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advice on travelling and speak to your manager (for staff) or supervisor (for students) before embarking on any travel. See our International Travel Guidance for more information.

Following events in Israel and Gaza, UMAL, our travel cover providers have issued a specific alert regarding cover for potential claims arising out of trips that are either cancelled, curtailed or rearranged. Please refer to UMAL’s alert along with checking the FCDO website before making any travel arrangements to these areas. Please contact the Insurance Services team if you have any questions or concerns.

If you are abroad

In some countries, protests, demonstrations and other activity related to events in Israel and Gaza have led to heightened security measures; some embassies have issued security or demonstration alerts. It is important to be aware of what is happening wherever you are. Check the FCDO advice for the country that you are visiting and sign up for email alerts.

If you’re currently abroad, stay in contact with your Department/School and follow any advice that’s sent to you, either from us or from your local institution.

While you’re away, you should download and use the GlobalRiskManager mobile phone app using your University email address to create an account. This app has an optional function that would enable security personnel at the University to access your location in the event of any crisis (you have to give permission explicitly for this functionality).


We have published our revised Code of Practice for Freedom of Speech. This provides the means to consider how proposed activities and events, including protests and demonstrations, can be supported to go ahead lawfully, balancing the rights of the whole University community, and the range of University’s legal duties. This is well-established and we have a long track record of strong support for free speech: there are numerous examples of events dealing with sensitive and controversial topics that have gone ahead with the full support of the University, including very recently. The team that works to support this Code is always happy to discuss events and activities to see how they can be facilitated. Contact details can be found on the Intranet.

Financial support

We are a University of Sanctuary and support staff and students in a number of ways. There are a number of different schemes that we run to provide financial (and other) support to people affected by the Israel-Palestine situation. These include:


Professional Services