Protests at Maastricht University - Update 7

Impression of the consultation between the Executive Board and the University Council of Maastricht University

The Executive Board and the University Council of Maastricht University (UM) met today and discussed both the protests at UM and the underlying issue of international cooperations.

With regard to the protests, the Executive Board informed the Council about the events of the past week. In doing so, the Executive Board shared and explained its considerations, dilemmas and decisions to the University Council. The Executive Board carefully listened to the concerns among the UM community that were put forward by the Council. 

The core question of how to deal with international cooperation with institutions in conflict areas, at the moment specifically in Gaza and Israel, was discussed at length during the consultation. This is not the first time this discussion took place. In recent months, the role of universities in addressing human rights situations in other countries and the involvement of universities in those countries in such violations have been discussed several times. Regarding the content of this question, the Executive Board presented an approach, which was developed in close consultation with the deans. In essence, this thought is based on the principle that cooperation and the exchange of knowledge between individual UM academics and their international colleagues should never be compromised. At the same time, the Executive Board and deans want to assess whether our international partners may in any way play a role in or contribute to violations of fundamental norms of international law. What further consequences could be of such an assessment was the subject of reflection and discussion during today's consultation.

Today’s consultation with the University Council is an important step in decision-making and discussing with the participatory body how to move forward. The Executive Board and deans will use the reflections and various perspectives collected today, to work as soon as possible towards a final proposal for an assessment framework for international strategic cooperation in conflict areas, with a first application to the situation in the Middle East. This proposal will then be presented to the Council again as soon as possible.

Impression from the University Council

The University Council has experienced the discussion as respectful and constructive. The Council emphasised that the concerns among the UM community are varied, multifaceted and sometimes contradictory. These concerns come from the Maastricht Encampment, as well as from students and staff from the rest of the university with very different perspectives or viewpoints, including from the Jewish community at UM. Regarding the way of dealing with international collaborations, suggestions and considerations were given from various perspectives, and the University Council awaits the final proposal from the Executive Board.

Meer updates

  • Maastricht University's Executive Board, in close consultation with the deans, is developing a human rights due diligence assessment tool to help make an informed assessment of whether, and if so to what extent, our partners with whom we have an administrative partnership are involved in violations...

  • In the morning of Wednesday, 22 May, a group of student protestors occupied a Maastricht University (UM) building at Grote Gracht. This prompted the university to engage in discussions with the protesters, some of whom had also set up a tent camp behind the building the previous week. 

  • Due to the occupation of some of the FASoS buildings, FASoS will be closed until further notice. There will be no teaching on-campus today and we are looking into whether classes can move online. Our students will be informed about the closure of our buildings and the consequences this has on...

More news items
  • UM is still in dialogue with the protesting students that are involved in today's occupation of the FASoS building. The aim is and remains 'de-escalation', and the safety of everyone involved comes first. At the same time, we want to ensure that we can fulfil our primary task, education and research...

  • For safety reasons and to ensure the continuity of teaching and research, Maastricht University has taken a number of measures.

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