The Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions, (SUHF), an organisation for institutional cooperation in Sweden for universities and university colleges, has prepared a joint statement that MDU stands behind. The geopolitical situation is now more serious than it has been for a long time. The ongoing conflicts result in great human suffering, and witnessing what is happening worldwide is very distressing. Our thoughts are with all those people who are affected by the misery of war.

The war between Israel and Hamas arouses strong involvement among many people, including at Swedish universities. There are currently several manifestations taking place at many Swedish universities and university colleges around the country.

Sweden's universities underline the importance of and wish to safeguard the freedom of expression and academic freedom. Peaceful and lawful demonstrations are the right of every citizen, and students and staff at universities and university colleges also have the right to express their opinions.

Swedish universities and university colleges do not have the mission or mandate to pursue foreign-policy issues. This means that neither employees, students nor interest groups can expect universities and university colleges, as employers or education providers, to manifest foreign policy opinions or take a stand on foreign policy issues. Academia must be free from intimidation.

At Swedish higher education institutions, it must also be possible to discuss difficult issues. We expect general democratic principles to be observed, that everyone seeks dialogue instead of conflict, and respects the opinions of others even if they differ from their own.

Expressions and demonstrations must be conducted with respect for all employees and students and be taken into consideration so that operations at the universities and university colleges can continue. We will not accept harassment of employees or students or that their safety is compromised.

We safeguard academic cooperation. Researchers have the freedom to decide for themselves how and with whom they cooperate under the laws and regulations laid down by the Swedish Parliament and Government. This may imply that they also operate in regions where there is war or conflict through exchanges and cooperative partnerships. These difficult trade-offs are made with support from a checklist that SUHF Link to another website. External link. (The Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions) has developed concerning responsible internationalisation: Global Responsible Engagement: Checklist. Pdf, 121.7 kB. External link.

We all hope that the war will end quickly. Swedish higher education institutions are of the view that their important task is to help reconstruct the academic institutions that have been damaged or destroyed during the war.