Israel and Palestine

The ongoing violence and loss of life in Israel and Palestine is deeply distressing, particularly for members of our community with connections to the area.

We have been writing to staff and students directly impacted to offer support and our thoughts are with all of those in our global community who are affected.  

We hope for an end to the violence, the release of the remaining hostages, and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

We know this is an incredibly challenging time, and it is vital that we show mutual respect and compassion for each other. 

As a community devoted to learning and the pursuit of knowledge, we can play an important role in deepening understanding and we want to ensure our campus is a safe space for peaceful, respectful and empathetic dialogue. All members of our community should feel safe and included, and we will never tolerate any forms of discrimination, incitement, bullying or harassment. 

We have a range of support available for anyone who has been affected by these events and you can find details below.

Dignity and respect

We remain committed to ending discrimination on campus and our Report and Support platform can be used to report any form of discrimination, harassment or bullying. We also have a Staff Disciplinary Policy and Student Code of Conduct. In 2022 we adopted the definition of Islamophobia developed by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims. In 2020 we adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism. We are actively reviewing our approach to tackling antisemitism, including consideration of the IHRA definition, in discussion with our Jewish staff and students and wider communities. We maintain our moral and legal duties in relation to the Equality Act, freedom of expression and academic freedom, including in our learning and teaching.   


Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policies 


The Respect at Edinburgh hub provides further information on our Dignity and Respect policy, how to raise concerns and what support is available: 


Respect at Edinburgh 


Our Security team operates on campus 24/7 to ensure the safety of everyone in our community. Security can be reached on 0131 650 2257 or 2222 from an internal line. In an emergency situation, please call 999. 

Reviewing our relationships, partnerships and collaborations

We continue to listen to concerns relating to the recent events in Israel and Palestine and we are engaging directly with student groups on the matter of our investments.  


The University of Edinburgh endowment fund invests across a wide range of asset classes and companies globally. We work with independent investment managers to invest the University’s assets, rather than directly choosing which companies to invest in. When working on behalf of the University, we require our investment managers to adhere to specific exclusions – companies operating in certain industries or manufacturing certain products – as part of our commitment to investing responsibly. We have had a responsible investment policy in place since 2016 and are a signatory of the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. We work with independent investment managers and we require them to adhere to our responsible investment policy. The University of Edinburgh endowment fund does not include any revenue received through tuition fees or research funding. 


It is important to acknowledge that the University has historical links to this conflict. We are currently conducting a historical race review which is looking amongst other things at the influence on global affairs, including in the Middle East, of people connected to our University. We will consider links to this conflict as part of the ongoing review and our community will have the opportunity to contribute to this process. As part of the historical review of race we are actively considering how our historic collections are presented, and the issue of coloniality will play a factor in any decisions taken. 

Fostering connections

Our Chaplaincy has run a series of events to support our communities, and will explore further opportunities to do this. 


The Chaplaincy’s support in times of crisis 

Education Beyond Borders

As Scotland’s first University of Sanctuary, we have a proud tradition of providing continued access to education for displaced students and academic staff. We have recently increased our funding and support packages for those who have been displaced due to conflict, persecution or other serious human rights violations. Our Education Beyond Borders programme offers funding, support, and collaborative and community-led initiatives, which include a new scholarship programme for postgraduate programmes and, in partnership with Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics), a fellowship programme for academics and their families. 


The University is very alert to the humanitarian crisis in Palestine. We are currently supporting a Palestinian academic and their family through our fellowship programme, and expect to welcome several Palestinian scholars and students among our next intake.


Alongside other UK universities and through engagement with our own University community, we are working with and listening to Gazan academics on emergency support for higher education in Palestine to understand how we can support them now and in the long term. We are also exploring partnerships with universities in the region to support higher education for displaced students and academics, and have active engagement with Cara (the Council for At-Risk Academics) to consider options available for in-region programmes. We will continue to explore additional opportunities in the time ahead.


You can find out more on the Education Beyond Borders webpage: 


Education Beyond Borders


We are engaged with Higher Education Scholarships for Palestinians (HESPAL) to support the next generation of senior academics from Palestinian universities through PhD and MSc programme:


Higher Education Scholarships for Palestinians (HESPAL) | British Council


We co-chair the UK Higher Education Humanitarian Group, working to advance and catalyse support for displaced academics and students across UK higher education:


UK Higher Education Humanitarian Group

Sanctuary Scholarships

The scheme offers financial and welfare support to those who have been unable to either begin or continue their doctoral work due to conflict in their home country to come to the University of Edinburgh to continue their research studies. 


Sanctuary Scholarships