Letter from the Rector: Trump’s entry ban
Trump’s entry ban impacts students, artists and academics indiscriminately.
Last Friday, President Trump signed an Executive Order prohibiting entry into the United States for anyone with a passport from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. This is an overtly un-American action. It serves no purpose in relation to counter-terrorism, and it is detrimental to the principle of academic freedom and the sharing of perspectives and experience. It reeks of prejudice and discrimination.
This entry ban impacts students, artists and academics – colleagues who, thanks to their international orientation, embody the aspirations expressed not least in the White Paper on quality in higher education, which, ironically, was presented to parliament by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research on the same day as that presidential order was signed. In the words of the White Paper: “International co-operation and international perspectives are (…) a prerequisite for addressing the challenges of our global society” (p. 63). The policies of the current American president are detrimental to international co-operation.
Although the reasoning behind the presidential order is supposedly national security, and although I believe we should be careful not to contribute to the polarisation of the “liberal elite” and the so-called “general population”, it is necessary to speak out. I hereby express my opposition to this presidential order. It is indiscriminate and serves only to entrench antipathies at a time when we should be striving to overcome them.
Rector at KHiO