Statement - reaction to student banner due to situation Palestine and Israel

Mon 17 May

We are all closely monitoring the current situation of the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. A situation that can only lead to loss. We understand that it is a worrying situation for all involved. One that has a great impact on the people there and on their families and friends here in the Netherlands who are worried about the situation.

A number of students have expressed this concern by displaying a banner on one of our buildings. We have removed this banner, because we as a University of Applied Sciences we do not get involved in geopolitical situations and our buildings should not be used to this end. We are willing to engage in dialogue, to facilitate the dialogue between groups of students and staff with different allegiances, but our long-held principle has been that we do not take political stands, whether on national or international issues.

We want to provide a safe learning and working environment for all students and staff, regardless of their background. What may be an expression of genuine concern to one person can be perceived as threatening by another. We aim for our students to become empowered professionals with their own views. We therefore welcome the fact that they are speaking out on the subject. But our buildings do not serve as a platform for those views. Above all, we call for people to express their opinions respectfully and to especially do what the world sometimes fails to do, and that is to stay connected.