In view of the Russian attack on Ukraine, the Presidents of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Professor Peter-André Alt and Professor Joybrato Mukherjee, today appealed to the members of German universities to stand up together for openness and tolerance:
"Universities are places where xenophobia, nationalism and exclusion have no place, even in times of international conflict. Different perspectives, diversity of opinion and international exchange are the foundations of research and teaching activities at our universities. Especially at a time when war is being waged again in Europe with frightening brutality, universities are called upon to stand up for these values together.
The HRK and DAAD stand in solidarity with Ukrainian students and researchers and all refugees from the country who are coming to Germany and to German universities now and in the near future. At the same time, we recognise the distinction between the Russian state and its war of aggression and the Russian students and researchers who often, at great personal risk, speak out against this war.
The German Rectors' Conference and the German Academic Exchange Service, as member organisations of German universities, are jointly committed to democratic values and an enlightened, tolerant society. Under the label 'German Universities Open to the World – Against Racism and Chauvinism' initiated by the HRK in 2015, German universities and many partners in the research system are committed to this effort.
As presidents of the HRK and DAAD, we stand by the universities in their resistance against xenophobia and intolerance. We encourage them in their commitment to peaceful coexistence at universities."
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