No Jewish book ban

February 26, 1999

This university does not place restrictions on our staff (or those in partner colleges) as to the books and articles they may recommend ("QAA slates ban on Jewish books", THES, February 19). We do not condone or exercise censorship.

Our distance-learning materials are used worldwide. We have no interest in the religious or other affiliations of authors and we would not know whether any were Jewish.

This issue commented on in the Quality Assurance Agency report refers to the unavailability in the United Arab Emirate states of some articles/books published in Israel, or by authors with Jewish-sounding names. These circumstances apply to every other university or educational body operating in that part of the world, including the British Council and its library.

There have been limited occasions when the unavailability in the UAE of books on supplementary reading lists has led to staff suggesting further references. I would refute allegations that this constitutes censorship or a diminution in comparability of the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside or its partner colleges. In future, we have asked staff, if faced with such requests, to refer them immediately to their dean or higher authority.

There is no question of materials and authors used by staff being selected on grounds other than their academic suitability.

Roger King Vice-chancellor, University of Lincolnshire and Humberside

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