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Vice-Chancellor news

Conflict in the Middle East: support is available

18 October 2023
Photograph of Wendy Larner in front of a red background

Vice-Chancellor Professor Wendy Larner extends her sympathy to everyone affected by recent events, and reminds us both of the support available, and of the importance of supporting one another.

The events in the Middle East over the last two weeks have been incredibly distressing for many members of our community. Several of our staff and students are awaiting news of family and friends in both Israel and in Gaza. Others are living in fear of harassment and violence as racist, antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents increase across the UK. I want to thank those of you who have written to me to share your experiences and your fears, and I want to extend my deepest sympathy to everyone who has been affected by this unfolding tragedy.

I would like to take this moment to remind everyone that every single member of our community deserves dignity and respect. The diversity of viewpoints, experiences and backgrounds in our community makes us stronger. We have the right to respectfully disagree with each other, of course. But in no circumstances is discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or belief ever acceptable. Racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia will not be tolerated on this campus.

We have put together some advice for anyone affected by the conflict, including ways in which we can help our students. There is information below on the support services that are available to staff. If you are struggling, please contact your line manager, or your Head of School or Department. I understand that Cardiff’s community has a long history of supporting each other in times of crisis – I’m asking all of you to carry on that tradition, and to look out for one another, and particularly those who are being hardest hit.

Support and advice are available

We understand that the events in the Middle East continue to be deeply upsetting and challenging for many members of our university community.

We express our deep sympathy to anyone who has been impacted.

Support is available to everyone who needs it, and our priority is to ensure that the university remains a safe place for all.

We have a strong history of coming together to show support for each other at difficult times like this. If you are concerned about yourself or others around you – get in touch.

Respect for all members of our community

We have a zero-tolerance approach to racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, abuse, incitement or harassment at our university.

Students who witness or are the victim of such incidents can report them via our Disclosure Response Team.

For staff, any incidents should be reported to your Line Manager in line with the university’s Dignity at Work and Study policy. These reporting routes are open to all members of our community whether they are the victim of, or witness to, any incident.

Making sure that you feel safe on campus

The university has security support available 24 hours a day and this can be accessed any time by calling +44 (0)29 2087 4444, or extension 74444 from a university landline.

SafeZone is an app available to all students and staff to make it easier to contact Security directly from your mobile device. Find out more about Safezone and how to download it here. If in an emergency, call 999 and ask for the appropriate service.

Support for staff

Staff are able to access support from Care First and we would encourage all staff who have been impacted to get in touch with their line manager or Head of School/Professional Services department.

We also offer pastoral and spiritual support to all members of the university community regardless of whether you hold any explicit faith. You can contact one of the chaplains and they will arrange a time to meet with you, or we can put you in contact with a representative from your own faith.

Support for students

Students can contact Student Connect at the Centre for Student Life to access any of our student support services, including counselling and wellbeing advice.

Students can also access independent advice from our Students’ Union. You can contact Student Advice in the Students’ Union for free, confidential and impartial advice via email at or by calling +44 (0)29 2078 1410 or by visiting them in person, Monday to Friday 09:30 to 16:30 on the third floor of the Students’ Union.

If a student is concerned about the impact of recent events on their studies, they can contact their personal tutor and discuss our extenuating circumstances policy.