Update: On November 12, the board of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology rejected the proposed academic boycott of Israel. Prior to the vote, the European Union's Commissioner for Education directed the EU representative in Oslo to contact the university and the Norwegian government to clarify the situation. More
New York, NY, November 4, 2009 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the European Union to disqualify any university that adopts an anti-Israel academic boycott from participating in the E.U.'s student exchange program, Erasmus.
The board of Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, a participant in the Erasmus program, is slated to consider an anti-Israel academic boycott resolution on November 12. While Norway is not a member of the European Union, the Trondheim institution benefits from its participation in Erasmus.
In a letter to the European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, Mr. Maroš Šefčovič, ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman noted the Commissioner's "unique position to have a positive influence" in working to counter anti-Israel academic boycotts.
"Academic boycotts are clearly antithetical to the spirit and purpose of the Erasmus program to enhance academic cooperation," said Mr. Foxman. He called on Mr. Šefčovič to make clear that "there is no place within the Erasmus program, or any of the E.U.'s Lifelong Learning programs, for institutions that adopt a policy of boycotting Israeli academics and institutions."
According to the European Union, "Erasmus is the E.U.'s flagship education and training programme, enabling more than 180,000 students to study and work abroad each year, as well as supporting co-operation actions between higher education institutions across Europe."