Statement on Antisemitism 

Antisemitism runs counter to the culture of diversity and inclusion that is fundamental to our University environment. It has no place at St Andrews. 

We recognise that antisemitism remains a significant and ever-changing societal problem, that does very real harm to those affected by it. In recognising this, we are mindful that our existing policies and procedures are targeted at our understanding of antisemitism today, but do not anticipate the ways in which antisemitism will manifest in the future. We are therefore committed to continually updating our understanding of antisemitism, with the goal of protecting the safety and wellbeing of all Jewish members of our community now, and in the future. 

Our continued work to tackle antisemitism will be incorporated into a programme of data collection and SMART actions that the University will be held accountable to, within the framework of our application for the Race Equality Charter Award.

It will include:

  • working to improve the understanding of antisemitism within our community
  • improving the mechanisms by which those who encounter antisemitism can report it
  • considering policies and procedures that protect our students and staff from current and future antisemitic threats, including online harassment. 

The work described will complement existing, broader scope protections for current and prospective members of the St Andrews community. All students, staff, and people applying to study and work at the University, will continue to be protected from bullying, discrimination or harassment on the grounds of their ethnicity, race, religion or belief (protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010).  This protection is underpinned by the University’s Dignity and Respect at Work Policy and the Student Harassment and Bullying Policy. 

It is vitally important that, in our work targeting antisemitism, we do not inadvertently act in a way that undermines the goals of our actions. In the current environment, endorsing any single definition of antisemitism is likely to do exactly this. Such an endorsement would likely divert the conversation to which definition the University has endorsed, polarising discussion and introducing unnecessary division into our community. 

We would however draw attention to the IHRA “non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism”.

And also the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism.

We are aware that antisemitism remains a risk to our community, and that work to target it is never completed, but is always an ongoing process of learning and responding.  In that work of tackling antisemitism, we stand united as a community. 

Updated: 6 December 2023