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Our steps towards a more extensive policy regarding cooperation with external parties

Published on 22-05-2024
In the coming weeks, we will expand our policy on collaborating with external parties, in consultation with our academic community. The intense violence between Israel and Hamas and the resulting discussions in our community show that our current policy framework does not provide an adequate foundation for collaborations in wartime situations.
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The UvA’s guiding principle as an academic institution, is that we do not want to be involved in human rights violations or war crimes, while at the same time valuing the space for free academic collaboration. Over the next two months, we will therefore closely examine our guidelines, including through dialogue sessions at the faculties. A proposal for supplementing or adjusting the current policy will be ready before the end of this academic year.   

The UvA cooperates with many partners at home and abroad. This is very valuable, because free academic exchange leads to better science and scholarship, as well as to global connections. Our globally shared scientific methods are stronger than political differences. But this freedom is not unlimited. The UvA has an advisory committeeExternal link, consisting of experienced academics and lecturers from all faculties and of policy advisers, that assesses our research collaborations on the basis of the ‘Policy Framework for Collaboration with Third Parties’.   

Collaborations with organisations in war and conflict zones

Our current framework is insufficient for assessing collaborations in war and conflict zones. The framework primarily pertains to research projects, while the discussion also encompasses educational collaborations with other universities. Also, the framework focuses solely on new collaborations, while the outbreak of war and conflict can also raise questions about existing collaborations.   

The guiding principle remains that we want to keep opportunities for academic collaboration open as much as possible, but at the same time, we do not want to become involved in human rights violations or war crimes through these collaborations. If, after assessment using our revised framework, it appears that this is the case, the UvA will withdraw from the collaboration after consultation with the other partners.   

New collaborations will be assessed in advance by the committee for collaboration with third parties. We will not enter into new institutional collaborations in war zones until the revision of our ethical framework is completed. 

Supplementing the Policy Framework for Collaboration with Third Parties 

Last year, the ethical framework was supplemented in response to discussions on collaboration with the fossil fuel sector. Dialogue sessions were organised for this purpose, involving the entire academic community. Following this consultation, the proposal was adapted and the decision taken.    

We are now following the same approach, but within a much shorter timeframe, regarding collaboration with parties in war and conflict zones. This policy will be applicable to any country, company or partner university, so that we can make better assessments, not only now but also in the future. The policy framework will be mandatory: any collaboration with parties in war and conflict zones must be submitted to the committee for review.   

What will we do in the coming weeks

  • We are putting together a broad and inclusive ad hoc working group this week with the participation of experts in the field of (international) cooperation, including from the Advisory Committee on Collaboration with Third Parties.  
  • For each faculty, we will organise dialogue sessions for staff and students in the first half of June.  
  • The working group will process the outcomes by proposing additions to the existing framework.   
  • Through the digital platform ‘Denk mee’ (Think Along), we will submit the proposal to the entire academic community between 21 and 28 June.  
  • The working group will incorporate the feedback received through the platform.   
  • In early July, the Executive Board, in consultation with the deans, will take a final decision, after which the adjusted Policy Framework for Collaboration with Third Parties will come into effect.   

Frequently asked questions 

Visit uva.nl/protestsExternal link for more information regarding last week's demonstrations and the current situation on campus. 

What is the UvA doing for students who feel unsafe? 

In the event of an immediate physical threat or emergency

Call security: 020 525 2222

This number is not intended for general, non-urgent questions about safety.

Questions and concerns

There are different people you can approach, such as a study adviser, a student psychologist or a confidential adviser. Go to information and contact details.

Finally, talks are organised at various places within the UvA where there is an opportunity to discuss recent events. Keep an eye on the calendar