A quarter of Jewish students fear anti-Semitic hate crime, NUS report finds

first_imgIn a statement to Cherwell, JSoc said: “We are proud that Oxford is one of the best campuses in the country for Jewish students; there is a thriving Jewish life, a fact which has been recognised by both OUSU and the UJS (Union of Jewish Students) in recent years.“We are thankful for the positive relationships with the University, the colleges and OUSU, and are hopeful that these will continue.“However, many of the concerns in the report resonate with the Jewish Society’s members and, alongside recent events, demonstrate that more can be done to improve the Jewish student experience.“In particular, Jewish students regularly encounter hostility and offensive debate when engaging in discussions around the Israel-Palestine conflict. Jewish students have also faced difficulties regarding the provision of kosher food and the scheduling of exams on religious festivals.“We call upon OUSU to adopt the report’s recommendations, and to continue their effort to make Oxford more welcoming for Jewish students.”The report also explored Jewish student representation in university student unions.It found that a majority of Jewish students feel able to engage with their individual student unions, with 75 per cent saying that they voted in student elections and 69 per cent saying that they always or usually were able to participate in student union societies.However, 43 per cent said they did not feel their student union understood their needs as Jewish students, and 51 per cent said they did not feel represented by their student union. A quarter of Jewish students in the UK fear anti-Semitic hate crime on campus, a new study has found.A report released by the National Union of Students (NUS) found that 26 per cent of Jewish students were either fairly worried or very worried about being subjected to a physical attack, property damage, verbal abuse or theft as a result of their belief.Almost two-thirds of Jewish students had not been the victim of crime at their place of study, but two thirds (66 per cent) said they believed they were targeted a result of their faith.28 per cent of students said they had received personal abuse over social media.However, the report found that a majority of Jewish students do not believe the NUS would respond appropriately to allegations of anti-Semitism if they arose. The NUS must “regain the trust of Jewish students”, the report concluded.It comes amid ongoing concerns over allegations of anti-Semitism within the NUS.The organisation’s president, Malia Bouattia, was recently denounced for “outright racism” by the Home Affairs Select Committee, after describing Birmingham University as a “zionist outpost”.Bouattia has denied claims of anti-Semitism but apologised for any offence caused.The report also raised concern that “Jewish students have reported that they do not feel their institution understands their needs.”42 per cent of students reported there was no kosher food on or near campus, while 59 per cent said their university did not avoid scheduling classes and exams during Sabbath and Jewish religious festivals.Almost half of students said they did not feel comfortable voicing their opinions on the Israel-Palestine conflict.Oxford University Jewish Society (JSoc) welcomed the report, and urged the University and OUSU to adopt its recommendations. Sandy Downs, OUSU VP for Welfare and Equal Opportunities, said: “It’s fantastic to see that Jewish students have high engagement with their students’ unions across the country, and we should be using that relationship to help affect change.“I look forward to working with JSOC and the NUS to consider how best to interpret and enact the recommendations in the report, and its good to see that lots of the suggestions are things which OUSU is already working on (including Kosher food provision and religious festival considerations in timetabling).”The report’s author, the NUS VP Rob Young, said: “In a wider context of increasing anti-Semitism across the UK, we know that Jewish students have been feeling increasingly uncomfortable on University campuses and that there is a lot of work to be done to change that.“This research has given us a greater understanding of some of the challenges faced by Jewish students in Universities and in the student movement. I hope that the sector will act on the recommendations in this report.“Everyone should feel able to participate fully in campus life and NUS and I are fully committed to ensuring that that is the case.”An Oxford University spokesperson said: “We welcome the NUS report and are encouraged to hear that so many Jewish students across the UK are actively engaged in university life, and that Oxford’s JSoc values its positive relationship with the University. We are working with colleges to address specific issues mentioned in the report, such as the provision of kosher food and the scheduling of exams.“On the subject of hostility and antisemitism, we have always made it clear that no form of harassment or victimisation will be tolerated at Oxford. We expect all members of the University community to treat each other with respect, courtesy and consideration, including when engaging in political debate. “We would strongly urge anyone who has experienced harassment or intimidation on the grounds of religion or belief to come forward and report any incident to their college or to the University.”last_img read more

New pension changes could bring jobs boost to Donegal

first_imgWork to implement the Government’s new pension scheme could bring extra jobs to the Social Welfare Offices in Donegal over the next year, according to Minister Joe McHugh.The Government today announced plans to make significant improvements to pension outcomes for homemakers and carers in Donegal who were affected by rate band changes in 2012.The new Total Contributions Approach will calculate pensions based on all contributions made over a working career. There will also be provision for a new Home Caring Credit of up to 20 years to assist workers who took time out to raise families. The new system will be implemented from the 30th of March, and payments to eligible pensioners will be backdated to this time.Around 130 temporary staff will be taken on to implement the changes over the next year and Minister McHugh has spoken with Minister Regina Doherty about the possibility of some of those jobs being located at the Department’s offices in Buncrana and Letterkenny.Minister Joe McHughMinister McHugh said: “In recent months, many people expressed concern to me about their pension rates, which were affected by rate band changes in 2012.“I have been in constant communication with my Fine Gael colleague, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty on this issue, highlighting the concerns of Donegal pensioners. “Minister Doherty has been working with her Government colleagues to find a solution to this issue and today, along with my Cabinet colleagues, the Government has agreed to allow post 2012 pensioners to choose between their current rate and that to be introduced under the Total Contributions Approach.“This approach is expected to significantly benefit many people here in Donegal particularly women, whose work history includes an extended period of time outside the paid workplace, while raising families or in a caring role.”Minister McHugh continued: “Later this year the Department will invite over 40,000 pensioners, currently assessed under the 2012 rate band changes, to have their pensions recalculated under TCA to determine if they qualify for a higher rate of entitlement.“As it will take time to design and set up administrative processes, and the necessary IT systems, the Department expects to send out the invitations from Q4 2018.“Pensioners do not need to contact the Department or do anything else until written to by the Department nearer the end of the year.  The first payments will be made from early 2019, with payment backdated to the 30th March 2018. “The TCA will ensure that the totality of a person’s social insurance contributions – as opposed to the timing of them – determines a final pension outcome.“No existing pensioner will see their pension reduced by this change- if their rate is improved by the TCA calculation option they will benefit, but if their TCA calculation entitlement is lower, they will remain on their existing rate.“I am delighted that this new model will help build a sustainable future for those pensioners in Donegal who took time outside the paid workplace, while raising families or in a caring role.”The Minister added: “I have also spoken with Minister Doherty suggesting that some of the extra 130 Department staff could be located at her offices in Donegal – in Letterkenny and/or Buncrana – and she has agreed to look at my request.” New pension changes could bring jobs boost to Donegal was last modified: January 23rd, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:jobsMinister Joe McHughpensionssocial protectionTotal Contributions Approachlast_img read more