Pro-Palestinian protesters are occupying the lawn on King’s Parade. The College and University are operating as normal.

The University is fully committed to academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law and we acknowledge the right to protest. We ask everyone in our community to treat each other with understanding and empathy. Our priority is the safety of all staff and students.

We will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia and any other form of racial or religious hatred.

University responses to the protest

The University is currently engaging with the protesters to try to find a way to end the encampment. We have explained this with the following statement from Professor Bhaskar Vira, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education:

We were glad to meet our students as we have been willing to do from the first day of the protest. While we understand some will see it as a negotiation, we see it as a constructive dialogue with our students.

In responses to concerns from the wider community about the protests we have also issued the following statement:

Our priority is the safety of all our students and staff. We are in regular contact with our Jewish students and chaplains, assuring them of our support and that we will not tolerate antisemitism. We have consistently asked members of our community to treat each other with understanding and empathy. The protests have so far been peaceful, but we retain the right to intervene and have made our guidelines clear to the protesters. They have also shared their community guidelines with us and have so far stayed within their stated commitments. We support academic freedom, freedom of speech and the right to protest, all within the law, and we regularly take legal advice and liaise with police.  

On 14th May protesters expanded the encampment to occupy the Senate House Yard. In response the University rearranged Degree Ceremonies on 18th and 19th May to other parts of the collegiate University, primarily Downing College. Graduands were able to have photos on the Senate House Lawn in line with other Degree Ceremonies. The protesters left Senate House Yard on 17th May.

Protest guidance

All members of our community should feel safe and we will never permit any form of discrimination, intimidation, incitement, bullying or harassment.  

Guidance is available to help staff and students to exercise their right to protest in line with relevant University policies, including our expectations of behaviour and treating others with dignity and respect. 

Guidance on public gatherings

Guidance on demonstrations and protest

Support for students

Students who are participating in the protest, and those who might be impacted by it, are encouraged to seek support from their Colleges, via their tutors, and student support services in the University and in Departments and Faculties.

Sanctuary and scholarship support

At the University of Cambridge, we welcome applications from all backgrounds, including refugees and asylum seekers.

We are a welcoming and international community and the city of Cambridge itself has City of Sanctuary status.

Refugees, asylum seekers or anyone from a forced migration background may have specific concerns when considering or starting university, and it’s important to us that they feel supported during this time. We recognise that you may have experienced barriers and difficulties that can have a significant impact on educational opportunities and outcomes.

We hope that the resources below are useful for your application. You may also be interested in the University’s Refugee Hub, run by the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement.

If you have qualifications obtained outside of the UK, visit the international qualifications page to see whether we can accept your qualifications. If your qualifications don’t meet our minimum requirements, please contact the department to explain your status and to check whether they will still consider an application from you.

The Rowan Williams Cambridge Studentship is a full-cost scholarship for applicants who face severe barriers in accessing higher education. For more information, visit the Cambridge Trust website and Cambridge Refugee Scholarship Campaign site, as well as their studentship guide.

Applicants with asylum seeker, refugee or humanitarian protection status are eligible for an application fee waiver

If you are unsure of your fee status, you can find advice from the UK Council for International Student Affairs. You may also wish to visit the Student Action for Refugees scholarship list.

Cambridge supports the Council for At-Risk Academics (CARA), an organisation providing urgent assistance to academics facing immediate danger, forced exile, or who choose to continue working in their home countries despite significant risks.

The University is committed to supporting CARA Fellowships for academics at risk and welcomes applications from such individuals.

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