United for tolerance and against xenophobia
National campaign of German universities
Members of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK) came together in Kiel this week to launch an new campaign against xenophobia in Germany. The campaign, entitled ‘Weltoffene Hochschulen – Gegen Fremdenfeindlichkeit’ (English ‘United against Xenophobia – Universities for a Global Community’), sends a clear signal that the HRK is taking a stand against xenophobia in Germany. The move comes as a response to the numerous racially-motivated verbal and physical attacks on refugees committed over the past months.
The campaign was initiated by the president of the German Rectors’ Conference, Professor Dr Horst Hippler, who praises universities as centres of education and research founded upon diversity of opinion and international cultural exchange. “In light of the increasing xenophobic tendencies that can be seen at the moment, universities are actively advocating this plurality of opinions and exchange”, said Hippler.
“This most recent meeting of HRK members shows not only the dismay of universities at these tendencies, but also their resolve to do something about it. University administrations have sent a message they stand tall with students and staff against xenophobia both on and off campus”, said Hippler. “What we need is for the majority of the population to come out united against xenophobia and take resolute steps towards promoting a more tolerant and open society. Regardless of political stance, this majority consensus must be clearly articulated. The universities in Germany want to lead by example.”