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Views on Freedom of Speech in Universities sought

8 January 2018

Joint Committee on Human Rights has cascaded an online survey to all student unions through the National Union of Students (NUS), asking for their views on the controversial issue of Freedom of Speech in Universities.

The Committee are doing this as part of their effort to gather evidence for their ongoing inquiry into the subject. They ask:

  • Whether restriction of free speech is a problem in their institution and or across the sector;
  • How confident students are about inviting external speakers to event;
  • How many events have been cancelled because the speaker was too controversial;
  • What proportion of external speaker events have to be escalated to university authorities for approval;
  • Who should determine free speech policy at the university: the student union,  the University administration,  the Government,  the Office for Students or some other body.

In addition, next week, the Committee will also launch a public web forum via which individual students can share their views and stories with the Committee, with more details to be announced in due course.

On Wednesday MPs and Peers will also be taking evidence from the Vice Chancellors and students from Bristol University, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Sussex together with Baroness Valerie Amos of SOAS, gathering their views on whether current free speech codes are working.

Further information

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