|University lecturers today threatened to provoke international condemnation over academic freedom by forcing their union into a year-long debate over boycotting work with Israeli universities.|
Delegates at the first conference of the new University and College Union in Bournemouth voted by more than three to two to recommend boycotts in protest at Israel's "40-year occupation" of Palestinian land and to condemn the "complicity" of Israeli academics.
The conference motion said there should be "a comprehensive and consistent boycott" of all Israeli academic institutions, as called for by Palestinian trade unions.
Delegates voted by 158 to 99 in favour of the motion. The union's leadership must now circulate calls from Palestinians for a boycott of Israeli universities to all branches throughout the country.
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Schools should not be allowed to promote marriage over same-sex partnerships, academics have said.
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They had been asked to monitor and report suspicious behaviour amongst Muslim students.
But at the University and Colleges Union annual conference in Bournemouth, delegates rejected the demands, saying they amounted to spying on students.
The motion, from the union's transitional arrangements committee, expressed outrage at the "continuing escalation demonisation of Muslim and other minority communities", adding that this threatened to impinge on education.
It opposed the ethnic profiling of students and staff, and pledged to challenge the "incursions of the security and immigration services to university and college campuses".
The union would also defend the right of members to refuse to cooperate with attempts to "transform education into an extension of the security forces".
If it were Christians they would most likely said absolutely. I am against turning the teachers into a spy unit as they said, but their objections basically is they will look the other way and not even say anything.