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Friday, 8 July 2011

Defying Boycott Vote, U. of Johannesburg Continues Partnership With Israeli Institution

Defying Boycott Vote, U. of Johannesburg Continues Partnership With Israeli Institution

CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

NEWS TICKER July 8, 2011, 2:26 pm

Israel’s Ben-Gurion University and the University of Johannesburg have reinstated a collaborative water-research agreement, defying a vote last March by the South African institution’s faculty senate to cut ties with the Israeli university, reports The Jerusalem Post. The faculty vote had been hailed as the first major success of an international academic boycott campaign against Israel, though the vice chancellor of the Johannesburg university said afterward that the university would not boycott Ben-Gurion.

On Friday, the two universities signed a contract to continue their joint research on water purification and the conversion of algae into energy with the cooperation of scientists from the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Ghent.

The senate vote followed a decision in September 2010 to end links with its Israeli counterpart if it found “direct or indirect military implications” to the relationship. The senate had called on Ben-Gurion to form partnerships with Palestinian universities and ordered a review of the ties between the two institutions. University of Johannesburg officials had told the senate before the vote in March that no Palestinian university had been found to join Ben-Gurion in the project. The Israeli university has several joint projects with Palestinian universities, researchers, and students.


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