Cash given to fight anti-Semitism in universities

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Universities are to be handed cash to help them deal with anti-Semitism on campus, the Government has said.

Around £144,000 is to be pumped into a new programme that will involve 200 students and university leaders visiting the former Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland.

Those who join the visits will also take part in a seminar when they return on how to identify and tackle anti-Semitism in universities.

It is expected that they will deliver activities that involve a further 7,500 university students.

Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, which will be running the scheme with the Union of Jewish Students, said: “Anti-Semitism remains a real challenge on campus and tackling it is crucial.

“We know how important it is to support those people on the front line dealing with it day in day out, and that is why we are proud to partner with the Union of Jewish Students on this important initiative.”

Josh Holt, president of the Union of Jewish Students (UJS), said: “The resources committed today will enable a substantial expansion of student and university leaders receiving the education and training needed to combat anti-Semitism and prejudice on campus.

“Sadly we have seen a distressing increase in swastika graffiti, Holocaust denial literature and politicisation of the Holocaust on some UK campuses.

“We are determined to combat this and welcome this significant contribution to our long-standing work bringing students of all faiths and backgrounds together to create cohesive campus communities.”

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “We all have a duty to speak out in the memory of those who were murdered during the Holocaust and all those, today, who are the subject of hatred and anti-Semitism.

“Holocaust education remains one of the most powerful tools we have to fight bigotry.”

Last month, former universities minister Jo Johnson warned that universities must ensure there is no place in the higher education system for hatred, extremism or any form of discrimination or racism, including anti-Semitism.

In a speech, he said: “A racist or anti-Semitic environment is by definition an illiberal one that is completely in opposition the liberal tradition of our universities.”

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