Dear Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

I am writing to you about the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

The Scottish Government adopted the definition in June 2017.

However, while most taxpayer funded universities in England have adopted the definition, most Scottish universities have yet to do so.

A list of Scottish universities that have refused to adopt the definition is detailed at the end of this letter.

The divergence in the statistics may be down to the fact that the Department for Education in England has actively encouraged universities under its jurisdiction to adopt the IHRA definition, while I have seen no evidence of the Scottish Government taking the same action.

Scottish Universities have a duty of care to their students, and they are all covered by equality legislation, but you will know that the IHRA definition is not enshrined in law.

Since nearly five years have passed since the adoption of the definition in Scotland, can you please explain what steps the Scottish Government will now take to ensure that the named universities adopt the definition, and what action will be taken if they refuse to do so?

If you propose to take no further action, how does that fit with the Scottish Governments’ commitment to opposing racism?

Finally, I have copied this letter to my MSPs for their information.

Yours sincerely

Edinburgh Napier University
Heriot-Watt University
Queen Margaret University
Robert Gordon University
University of Aberdeen
University of Dundee
University of St Andrews
University of Stirling
University of Strathclyde
University of the Highlands and Islands
University of the West of Scotland
Israel Britain Alliance Ltd. Registered Address: 71-75 Shelton Street, London, WC2H 1BB. Company Number: 11054917