Back to boycott basics

July 23, 2015

Audrey Osler’s extraordinary statement that earlier this year Soas, University of London “held an institution-wide referendum on an academic boycott of Israel, backing it by an overwhelming majority”, needs to be put in context (“Giving a voice to the voiceless in Israel”, From Where I Sit, 16 July).

The “referendum” was actually held at the behest of the Soas students’ union. The ballot was not authorised, sponsored or supported by those charged with the governance of the institution. The 1,283 student votes cast in favour of the boycott amounted to only 15 per cent of the total Soas student enrolment, while the 182 staff members (excluding contract workers) who voted in favour accounted for only 22 per cent of all Soas employees.

Hardly “an overwhelming majority” is it?

Geoffrey Alderman
University of Buckingham

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

Monster behind man at desk

Despite all that’s been done to improve doctoral study, horror stories keep coming. Here three students relate PhD nightmares while two academics advise on how to ensure a successful supervision

celebrate, cheer, tef results

Emilie Murphy calls on those who challenged the teaching excellence framework methodology in the past to stop sharing their university ratings with pride

Sir Christopher Snowden, former Universities UK president, attacks ratings in wake of Southampton’s bronze award

Reflection of man in cracked mirror

To defend the values of reason from political attack we need to be more discriminating about the claims made in its name, says John Hendry

But the highest value UK spin-off companies mainly come from research-intensive universities, latest figures show