BRUSSELS — The European University Association (EUA) is deeply concerned about the spirit of US President Donald Trump’s new travel ban and its potential implications on the free flow of people and ideas.
EUA believes the new executive order, issued on Monday (March 6), continues to aim indiscriminately at large groups of people to the detriment of mobility and exchange. The Association is concerned about how it will impact international researchers, university faculty and students who wish to apply for visas and travel to the United States for partnerships, academic conferences, research field visits and international study programmes.
“Closing off borders is counter to the ethos of universities and obstructs research and the crucial circulation of people,” said EUA Secretary General Lesley Wilson. “Movement is vital for knowledge and we must stand in favour of open borders and the flow of ideas.”
The Association had issued a statement on January 30, which was supported by many of its individual members, calling for Trump to recall or reformulate the original executive order to avoid any threat to the free flow of people and knowledge and for the new administration to acknowledge the overall importance of global mobility and openness for society as a whole.
EUA also joined some 40 major European organizations involved in science in signing an open letter to European leaders asking them to uphold the principles and values that underpin scientific progress and to work with the US administration to maintain a global science system based on these principles.