Following the brutal attacks of riot police against students and staff in Amsterdam and Utrecht last week, we are deeply concerned about the breach in trust between leadership in Dutch universities and their communities. As members of the board of the National Research School of Gender Studies (NOG), we strongly believe in the duty of care that all universities have towards our students, PhD candidates, temporary staff members, and permanent staff members.

We urge universities across the Netherlands to show commitment to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all members of our academic community, which include protecting those brave students who are courageously speaking out against the ongoing injustices in Palestine. As educators and scholars, we recognize the educational significance of student activism. It is not merely a political issue; it is a human rights imperative.

We call upon the Executive Boards of all Dutch Universities to:

  1. Respect and uphold the democratic rights of freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and academic freedom for all members of our academic community, including the peaceful protest against the genocidal nature of the Israeli attacks on Gaza.
  2. Engage with the students and seriously consider their demands, demonstrating a commitment to ethical leadership and social responsibility.
  3. Ensure that there is no police presence or repression on the university campuses, thereby safeguarding the safety and autonomy of our academic community.

We stand in solidarity with our students as they courageously advocate for justice and equality and exercise their democratic rights.


Prof. Dr. Sarah Bracke (University of Amsterdam)

Prof. Dr. Marieke van den Brink (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

Prof. Dr. Annemie Halsema (Free University of Amsterdam)

Dr. Faisal Hamadah (Maastricht University)

Dr. Looi van Kessel (Leiden University)

Dr. Eva Midden (Utrecht University)

Dr. Liesbeth Minnaard (Leiden University)

Prof. Dr. Sarah de Mul (Open University)

Prof. Dr. Liedeke Plate (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

Dr. Katrine Smiet (Radboud University, Nijmegen)

Prof. Dr. Eliza Steinbock (Maastricht University)

Dr. Kathrin Thiele (Utrecht University)

Further links to (institutional) statements of support: