Academic apologises over 'distress' caused to Israeli student

A genetics professor from the University of Oxford has been forced to apologise after it was claimed that he rejected an Israeli student's application on the grounds that he dislikes Israeli government policy.

The apology was issued after Professor Wilkie sent an email to Amit Duvshani on June 23. Mr Duvshani had applied for a place on a post-graduate course at the university.

In his email, it is claimed that Professor Wilkie rejected Mr Duvshani's application as he disagreed with Israel's policy toward the Palestinians.

However, the academic today issued an apology recognising the "distress" caused by the "wholly inappropriate expression of my personal opinions".

A spokesperson for the University of Oxford said that an "immediate and through investigation" was underway. A report will be sent to the vice-chancellor next week.

The spokesperson added: "Our staff may hold strongly felt personal opinions. Freedom of expression is a fundamental tenet of university life, but under no circumstances are we prepared to accept or condone conduct that appears to, or does, discriminate against anyone on grounds of ethnicity or nationality, whether directly or indirectly.

"This candidate is entitled to submit an application and to have it dealt with fairly according to our normal criteria."


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