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European universities call for immediate rethinking of Trump’s executive order

30 January 2017

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.

EUA has also joined some 40 major European organisations involved in science in signing an open letter to European governments and the presidents of the EU Council and Commission asking them to uphold the principles and values that underpin scientific progress and to work with the US administration to maintain a global science system based on these principles. More information is available on the Euroscience website.

The following organisations support the EUA statement:

The following organisations have issued a statement against the recent executive order by US President Donald Trump

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Belgium
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
114, Rue du Rhône
Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96