Image: Flickr / Steve Eason

UK universities have seen fivefold increase in antisemitism, says Telegraph report

Britain’s top universities have seen a fivefold spike in reports of antisemitism in the aftermath of the 7 October terror attacks on Israel, an analysis by The Telegraph has shown.

Data provided by 19 Russell Group universities showcased a significant rise in reported incidents, from 33 reports in the 12 months preceding the attacks to 176 in the three months following.

The universities with the highest recorded number of antisemitic incidents were University College London (UCL), which reported 82 instances across the period, and King’s College London (KCL), which reported 47 instances.

Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), and the University of Warwick, both recorded 20 incidents of anti-Jewish racism.

Five Russell Group universities – Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham, Bristol, and the London School of Economics (LSE) – declined to provide the requested data.

We encourage anyone who witnesses, or is the victim of antisemitism, to reach out to us

Warwick Jewish Society statement

The figures for the University of Warwick show an increase from 5 recorded incidents in the 12 months preceding the 7 October attacks, to 15 reports in the subsequent three months. The figures highlight earlier concerns from Jewish students at Warwick over the rise in antisemitic abuse following Hamas’ attack.

Responding to The Telegraph’s report, a statement from Warwick Jewish Society urged that: “We encourage anyone who witnesses or is the victim of antisemitism, to reach out to us.

“We can offer dedicated support to all affected individuals and can signpost specialised welfare support from our Chaplain, the University, or external organisations such as the Union of Jewish Students.”

The society further said that they were “extremely grateful for the support offered by the University”.

They added: “This has come in several forms, including by supporting the society with security concerns, and by remaining in regular contact with us. We are also working with the Student Union to find ways to combat antisemitism and we appreciate their support.”

Speaking on The Telegraph‘s findings, a Russell Group spokesperson condemned all forms of antisemitism.

They added that their universities have “clear processes in place to investigate complaints of this nature, and many have stepped up support since the beginning of the conflict in Gaza to make sure swift action is taken and students and staff get the help they need.”

Anti-Jewish hatred is not only a threat to Jewish students but undermines the whole ethos of a university

Community Security Trust spokesperson

The increase in anti-Jewish hate within higher education has been further documented by the Community Security Trust (CST), a charity centred around protecting the British Jewish community.

They recorded 182 antisemitic incidents within higher education in 2023, with 148 of these taking place post-7 October. This marked an increase of 203% from the previous year.

A CST spokesperson said: “Anti-Jewish hatred is not only a threat to Jewish students but undermines the whole ethos of a university, and it is essential that university authorities act forcefully and quickly to shut down this hatred.”

The UK Government has outlined several measures responding to the rise in antisemitism on campuses. This has included the appointment of an Expert Advisor on Antisemitism in Higher Education, and the allocation of £3 million towards funding the protection of Jewish schools, synagogues, and university buildings.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.