Brussels, 30 January 2017
European universities call for immediate rethinking of Trump’s executive order
The European University Association (EUA) is deeply concerned by the executive order issued by US President Donald Trump and its immediate and unnecessary consequences on international researchers, university faculty and students. The order, temporarily preventing entrance into the US of persons from seven Muslim-majority countries, unfairly disrupts not only individual lives but is potentially damaging to the free flow of people and ideas that is paramount in higher education and research.
“While President Trump’s security concerns may be justified, this is playing politics with the world’s knowledge pool and with academics’ and students’ lives,” said Lesley Wilson, EUA Secretary General. “A major knowledge economy like that of the US cannot allow itself to be closed off. It is not only ethically wrong, it is also a major obstacle to the vital flow of global talent. Universities are already seeing the consequences for their staff and students, but this is and will be extremely problematic in many sectors.”
The travel restrictions, while directed at the cited countries, are affecting the movement of students and scholars involved in partnerships, academic conferences, research field visits and international study programmes in universities and communities around the world, including those in Europe.
EUA calls on US President Trump to recall or reformulate this executive order to avoid any threat to the free flow of people and knowledge and for the new administration to acknowledge the overall importance of global mobility and openness for society as a whole.
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The European University Association (EUA) is the representative organisation of more than 800 universities in 47 European countries and 33 national rectors’ conferences (NRCs). The EUA Council is made up of the president, the members of the Board, and of the presidents of all of Europe’s NRCs. EUA works closely with its members to ensure that the voice of European universities is heard.
Universities Finland UNIFI is a member of EUA.