Events in Israel and Gaza continue to cause anxiety, concern, distress, and uncertainty throughout our community. Our priority is for everyone at Herts to feel safe and supported, and the following information has been brought together to support all of our community at this very difficult and complex time.
This page covers the following:
- Our community
- Support & resources (including safety & security, reporting and external resources)
- Support for students
At Herts, we encourage a diverse and inclusive culture of respect, integrity and belonging. We want our community to engage with this wherever and whenever we can and know that our collective shared experiences and divergent voices bring additional richness to our campus, deeply enhancing our understanding of the world in which we live.
Our University motto is ‘Seek Knowledge Throughout Life’, and as a community devoted to learning, we can take steps that will draw on our culture of respect, integrity and belonging in order to come together and share and discuss different perspectives.
We want the university to be a place where difficult yet lawful conversations can happen; where, with our support, discussions on controversial topics can take place in a safe space and with the appropriate regard to human rights, equality, freedom-of-speech and education. We believe that the inclusion of different voices and unique perspectives is what makes our community thrive, as it enhances our research, teaching and educational experience.
The University of Hertfordshire is fully committed to providing an inclusive environment for all its staff and students. This includes support for different and diverse views within the law. The University takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment and bullying, and all employees, workers, contractors, students and visitors are expected to be treated - and to treat each other - with dignity and respect. Equality and Diversity | About us | Uni of Herts.
We understand how difficult it can be to process the images we are seeing and for those with family and friends in the region, it is even harder. These are traumatic and distressing times, compounded by the rise in faith-based hate incidents towards both the Jewish and Muslim communities here in the UK.
Safety & Security
The University has four Third-Party Hate Crime reporting centres:
- The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Office - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Herts SU Advice and Support Centre - email: email@example.com
- The Dean of Students Office - email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Security Team - email: email@example.com
These centres can help you to report any incidents, provide confidential advice and support and can be a contact for those who do not wish to report directly to the police. You can remain anonymous if you wish, and you do not need to have contact with the police if you do not want to. The four centres work in partnership with the Hertfordshire Constabulary Hate Crime Officers to provide a coordinated response.
If you or someone you know has experienced or witnessed any form of bullying, harassment, discrimination, gender-based violence, hate or micro-aggressions, or have a safeguarding concern, you can report it anonymously or get support from a trained advisor through our online tool Report + Support . Report + Support is open to all members of our community whether they are the recipient of or witness to any incident.
Additional support on reporting antisemitism
The Community Security Trust (CST) has published a number of resources on their social media feeds, including guidance on how to communicate about Israel in a non-antisemitic way. CST also has a national emergency number which should be used to report antisemitic attacks, alongside contacting the police via 999: 0800 032 3263.
If you see or experience antisemitism report it to the Community Security Trust here
The Union of Jewish Students have opened a Welfare Hotline for students on 02074243288.
Additional support on reporting Islamophobia
Tell Mama is a confidential support service for those suffering from anti-Muslim hate and discrimination across the UK. Their website features several different ways to report anti-Muslim incidents, including via phone or WhatsApp.
Support and information about Islamophobia from the Muslim Council of Britain is here.
Call 999 if a crime is in progress or if someone is in immediate danger.
It is also vital that students and staff understand and respect that we are also all bound by UK laws relating to terror offences. Under these laws, Hamas is a proscribed terrorist organisation and signalling support to any terrorist group or organisation including moral support or expressing an opinion or belief that is supportive, is a criminal offence. Proscribed terrorist groups or organisations - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Stand Up! Education Against Discrimination was launched in 2017 to provide anti-discrimination education, with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Muslim hate, to young people in UK mainstream schools. You can access resources, pocket workshops, articles, and support here: https://www.standupeducation.org/resources
The Muslim Council of Britain have published guidance on responding and advocating, safely here.
Wellbeing & Mental Health Support
We have many UH support services and self-help resources for anyone struggling in any way, including those affected by the events in the Middle East, so please reach out if you or someone you know needs help. They include:
- Priority counselling appointments: Available via Student Wellbeing - please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 01707 284453 (ext. 4453)
- Support workshops: We run a wide range of workshops including support with managing anxiety and panic, coping strategies, confidence building and emotional resilience. Book a place by using our online booking form
- 24/7 wellbeing helpline: You can contact our free 24/7 confidential wellbeing helpline with Health Assured by calling 0800 028 3766.
- Health Assured has set up a dedicated University helpline, in partnership with Endsleigh, to support anyone who is struggling with their mental health as a result of ongoing events in the Middle East. Call 0800 783 8390 free, 24/7.
- In-person support: We have many specialist advisors on hand to provide guidance and support.
- speak to a member of our Chaplaincy team
- talk to the Students’ Union’s Academic and Welfare Advisers
- Seek advice from the Dean of Students’ Safeguarding team.
- If you’re living on campus you can call 01707 281010 to speak to a Residential Assistant (RA) or contact the Residence Life & Safeguarding Team.
- If you live off campus you can contact the Community & Safeguarding Team
The Student Immigration Team (Advice) is responsible for supporting overseas students during their stay in the UK, including immigration, money issues, employment, and personal matters. Read more about the team and contact an adviser.
Impact on Study
If you are in the region and you are unable to access online teaching or resources, you should speak to your department about how they might support your learning.
There are a number of University processes in place to help you if the conflict has disrupted your studies or if you believe it will impact your ability to complete your exams or assessments. Please contact academic support (module leader/personal tutor) to discuss your circumstances and decide if an exceptional circumstances request is needed or whether a coursework extension is a feasible alternative. Please go to the Exceptional Circumstances information on Ask Herts for further information.
If you are a postgraduate research student and are concerned about the impact on your research, the Doctoral College community are here to help - for example, your supervision team, Research Tutor, Director of the Doctoral College, and her Associate Directors, as well as the Doctoral College central team.
The University aims to ensure that it’s students have a good education and social experience, however in the event unsatisfactory circumstances occur, there is a two stage complaints process in place. We would always hope to resolve a concern raised informally, and it is therefore incredibly important that full details of the issues are reported as quickly as possible. If a concern relates to academic studies, the student should liaise with their Personal Tutor or Programme Leader in the first instance. For further guidance relating to the University’s complaint process (including details of the Bullying & Harassment policy), please visit Ask Herts, and for impartial advice and support, please visit the Students’ Union Advice & Support Centre.
University accommodation is available now and for over the vacation periods if you need it. For more information, and to apply click here.
If you are a home student, contact the Student Funding and Financial Support team for further information. You can also attend one of the team's drop-ins taking place Monday - Friday, 10.00 - 16.00 in person and via Microsoft Teams. To book a slot, click here.
Alternatively, if you're an international student contact the Student Immigration Team (Advice) for support.
All students both home and overseas can apply for the Short-Term Assistance Grant (STAG).
STAG offers discretionary short-term financial assistance for all students struggling with the rising cost of living. Successful applicants will receive a non-repayable financial award of £250.
Please read the full criteria and the application process here: Short-Term Assistance Grant (STAG).
The Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has updated its guidance on travel to the region. Other nationalities should check their own government’s advice before considering any travel. We also advise you to speak to your supervisor, Programme Leader or Personal Tutor and complete a risk assessment before travelling.
The Occupied Palestinian Territories travel advice - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Concerns for Friends & Family