Unifr: “natural” collaborations with Israel

Unifr: “natural” collaborations with Israel
Unifr: “natural” collaborations with Israel

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict finds an echo in Swiss academic circles. For a week, pro-Palestinian students have camped in the hall of the University of Lausanne, demanding in particular the cessation of academic collaborations with Israel. This movement, started in Lausanne, quickly spread to other institutions such as EPFL, EPFZ and the University of Geneva, thus creating a shock wave in the Swiss university landscape.

However, the University of Friborg seems to remain on the sidelines of this mobilization. Although the establishment maintains links with Israeli institutions, no demands have been received so far by the management. The University of Friborg does not have any institutional, and therefore systematic, collaboration with an Israeli university. Katharina Fromm, rector of Unifr, explains that currently only collaborations with individual researchers take place: “As far as we know, there are currently two collaborations of this type at the University of Fribourg.”

Scientific exchanges

The rector also highlights the nature of the ongoing collaborations, saying that they are focused on specific scientific projects. “These are natural collaborations. We work with the best partners around the world for a specific research topic. The two projects currently underway with Israeli partners are biology projects. One is on plant cells, the second on the correlation between hearing and sight. In both cases, science is at the center of the collaborations.

Despite the lack of mobilization at the University of Fribourg, the question of academic collaborations with Israel remains sensitive. The rector specifies that the university will handle mobilizations on a case-by-case basis, without planning a particular plan for the moment.

#Swiss

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