American travel ban criticised

The RUG and other European universities have called upon the United States to immediately withdraw their travel ban for people from seven majority muslim countries.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

The travel ban, instated by president Donald Trump on Friday, disrupts more than just individual lives, writes the European Universities Association (EUA), of which the RUG is a part. It also impedes the free movement of students and researchers involved in partnerships, academic conferences and international programmes at universities all over the world.

‘Trump’s concern for national safety might be justified, but he is turning the academic world into a political game’, Lesley Wilson of the EUA says. ‘It’s not just ethically wrong, it also obstructs the necessary global movement of talent.’

‘Very ill-advised’

The Dutch association of universities – VSNU – also criticises the American president’s decision. ‘The mobility of scientists across borders is crucial to the field of science. It ensures that universities can attract scientific talent from all over the world’, according to the association. RUG president Sibrand Poppema sits on the association’s board.

The VSNU is calling the travel ban ‘very ill-advised’. ‘Not only does this ban personally affect scientists currently working in the United States, but they are also withholding the American field of science from scientific talent.’

Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer has yet to respond to the criticism from European and Dutch universities.


The Dutch government has asked the US for an explanation and clarification. The government wants to know what consequences the travel ban will have for citizen with a dual nationality.

At the RUG, no employees or students have come forward to say that they are suffering from the travel ban, says RUG spokesperson Gernant Deekens.


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