University response to recent events in Israel, Gaza and the Middle East

This page provides information about the University’s response to recent events in Israel, Gaza and the Middle East, as well as advice and support for staff and students impacted.

The University has a general approach to global crisis and conflicts, which is available here. It includes information relating to welfare, wellbeing, academic and financial support for staff and students, freedom of speech, refugee scholarships and related matters. 

This page will be regularly updated. Last updated: 23 May 2024

In light of the appalling human consequences of the Hamas attack, its hostage-taking and Israel's subsequent military action in Gaza, we express our profound sympathy for those currently suffering in Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.

We recognise that many of our staff and students have family and friends who are directly affected. Many others in our community share the pain of those who are suffering. We hope for an immediate ceasefire, the release of the remaining hostages, the delivery of vital aid and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

Senior University leaders and college heads are meeting regularly with staff, students and societies. The University is also meeting with local community leaders across the city of Oxford. We are listening to concerns and will continue to do everything we can to support our members. It is imperative that we keep our community together at this challenging time.

In a vibrant academic institution such as ours, it is inevitable that our staff and students will hold a range of views about the conflict. The University must remain a place where all members of our community are supported and welcomed, and where diverse voices and perspectives are tolerated and respected. We uphold the right to freedom of speech, and for colleagues to openly express their views and opinions, within the limits of the law. We ask that all of our members engage each other with respect and courtesy.

However, it has become regrettably clear that some of our students and staff have experienced or witnessed discriminatory behaviour within Oxford. As a university, we will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment. Advice for staff and students who have experienced harassment, including how to make a complaint, can be found on our main crisis response page. We stress that there is no place for antisemitism, Islamophobia, anti-Palestinian discrimination, or hate directed towards any faith, race, nationality or ethnic group at the University of Oxford.

Information for staff and students

The University has written directly to impacted staff and students to offer welfare and other types of support. Both the University and colleges are working to ensure all members of the University community are supported as much as possible, and we will respond as appropriate as the situation develops.

We are aware that our students and staff will be affected in different ways by humanitarian crisis and conflict. This may include needing guidance on academic matters such as extensions and mitigation, student and staff welfare and wellbeing, financial support, reporting harassment, travel and visa advice, and our policies on freedom of speech and participation in vigils and protests. 

Details of how to access support relating to these and other challenges can be found through the link below. 

We are a University of Sanctuary, and as such aim to support scholarships for refugees and students otherwise forcibly displaced. Palestinian applicants with refugee or displacement backgrounds are eligible to be considered for our Refugee Academic Futures scholarships. The University recently renewed its commitment to CARA Fellowships for academics at risk, and welcomes applications from academics at risk as a result of the current situation.  

Our community can also help by giving to Crisis Relief in Gaza: https://crisisrelief.un.org/opt-crisis

Messages to staff and students include:

2024

2023

Support for students and staff can be found on our general support page.