A French technical institution has ended a collaboration agreement with Ariel University, which is located in an illegal Israeli settlement in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, following calls from academics in France.

The French academic organization AURDIP wrote to the Institute of Technological Research (IRT) Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on April 12, 2019 regarding its institutional collaboration with Ariel University. AURDIP called on IRT to end its collaboration in compliance with French, European and international law. In the absence of a response, AURDIP reiterated its request by email on July 21, 2019.

Having still received no reply, AURDIP referred the matter to the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation on October 20, 2020. The French ministry had assured AURDIP in 2014 that there were no educational or research collaboration agreements with Israeli settlement institutions. AURDIP urged the ministry to intervene in the case of the collaboration between IRT and Ariel University.

On December 16, 2020, AURDIP was formally informed by a letter from IRT that it had ended its collaboration with Ariel University in March 2020. IRT further confirmed that it would be removing mention of the collaboration agreement from its website.

Authoritative Palestinian higher education bodies are calling for non-collaboration and non-recognition of Ariel University over its role in Israel’s system of oppression that denies Palestinians their basic rights guaranteed by international law, including the right to education and academic freedom.