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Our collaboration with Israeli and Palestinian knowledge institutions

10 May 2024

The violence in Israel and Gaza is of great concern to us and it is terrible to see how people in the conflict area are suffering. In the Netherlands we see that the war raises a lot of emotions within our University and at other universities. Everyone is affected daily by the events in the area, and therefore, we understand that students and staff want to speak out against the violence. Protesting is an important right. When protests take place, however, we must ensure everyone's safety within the frameworks we have. If unsafe situations or damage to our buildings occur, we must take action. In recent months, unfortunately, significant damage has been done to our buildings, causing many students and staff members to feel unsafe. Our University must remain a safe place for all students and staf, including our Jewish students and staff.


The University of Groningen has agreements on student exchange opportunities with three Israeli universities. These are exchanges in the fields of Humanities. We receive EU funding for student and staff exchanges with these universities.


Research collaborations have been subject to the general, country-neutral knowledge security policy since November 2022. This means that all international cooperation (outside the EU) on dual-use subjects or involving (non-EU) defense partners must involve the Knowledge Security Advisory Team. 

Researchers from the UG participate in large European research projects funded by the European Union with many partners, that also involve Israeli organizations.

The UG currently has no formal cooperation with institutions in the Palestinian territories. However, informal cooperation does occur between academics, for example, through joint publications.


Academic teaching and research are of high value for the development of society. In our international activities, we sometimes cooperate with universities in countries with which relations are complicated or sensitive. When relations between countries and regions deteriorate, academic collaboration can be instrumental in maintaining a dialogue about research and values. For example. there are also academics in Israel who are critical of its political regime.


The umbrella organization Universities of the Netherlands (UNL) is committed to exploring with other universities how it can contribute to the reconstruction of bombed-out knowledge institutions in the conflict zone, and whether it can provide educational opportunities for refugee students and remote researchers. 


The UG is ready to support students and staff who are experiencing grief in difficult times and may find it difficult to cope. Do you need to talk about your mental well-being and how it affects your studies or work? Several support opportunities are open to both students and staff.

In the midst of global challenges and conflicts, let us seek to strengthen our commitment to international cooperation and understanding of one another so that university communities around the world can continue to have hope for a peaceful and just future.

The Board of the University

More information

From his position as interim president of Universities of the Netherlands (UNL), Jouke de Vries, president of the Executive Board of the UG, was a guest at Buitenhof last Sunday. Here he spoke among other things about the request of students to break ties with Israeli institutions. The link can be found here (in Dutch).

Last modified:14 May 2024 4.30 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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