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Board welcomes Oxford decision

Last updated: 2003-10-28

The Board of Deputies welcomes the decision reached by Oxford University to suspend Professor Andrew Wilkie from his academic duties for rejecting, solely because of his nationality, an Israeli student's request to work in his laboratory. The decision reached by the University also includes a stipulation that Professor Wilkie attends further equal opportunities training. 

The Board wrote to Oxford University in July after Professor Wilkie refused Amit Duvshani's request on the basis that the applicant was an Israeli citizen. The Board urged the University to fully investigate the implications of this incident and review its procedures for ensuring that such discrimination by biased academics could not occur in the future. 

Board Director General Neville Nagler commented: "We are very pleased that Oxford University has recognised that the actions of Professor Wilkie were unacceptable.  No student should be refused admittance to an academic institution on the basis of nationality, religion or race. Through this decision Oxford University has demonstrated the importance of maintaining an inclusive environment in which ideas can be freely upheld and exchanged."