Concordia University

Statement by President Claude Lajeunesse, concerning the proposed boycott of Israeli universities by the United Kingdom's University and College Union (UCU)

The fundamental mission of universities, and of the academics working in these institutions, is the free exchange of information, ideas and knowledge, unfettered by dogmas, religion or politics. It is through this kind of collegial discourse that the pursuit of knowledge advances and both individual societies and humanity progress.

I am quite concerned by a proposed boycott of Israeli universities being considered by the British University and College union. As a university president and an academic, I say with full conviction that this boycott attacks the very nature of academia, and it must be denounced.

Scholars must have the freedom to collaborate, regardless of borders or political systems. Therefore, I join a number of my colleagues in North America and Europe, in demanding that our British university colleagues repeal their boycott decision. Concordia does not, and will not tolerate, politically orchestrated attempts to control the mission of higher education. Concordia University joins the growing ranks of institutions condemning this proposed UCU boycott action.