More than 200 academics have signed an open letter condemning moves by the British government and Universities UK (UUK) to promote partnerships with Egyptian higher education institutions in spite of the government’s crackdown on opposition groups.
Moves like these, they argued, mask “human rights abuses in order to make short-term profits in the global education ‘market’.”
“Government officials and university managers seem to have forgotten that only two years ago, Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge PhD student, was abducted, tortured and murdered while undertaking research in Cairo,” the letter published in the Guardian newspaper said.
We question the wisdom and legitimacy of this move to do business as usual with an authoritarian regime that systematically attacks research, education and academic freedom.
Egypt, they continued, operates “a much wider campaign of repression targeting the political opposition, trade unions, civil society, independent media, and the legal profession.”
Academics from a number of leading British institutions including Cambridge, Oxford and numerous University of London Universities signed the letter which was published yesterday.