Top UK universities have pledged to protect free speech following concerns about censorship and ‘no-platforming’ campaigns on campuses, which in the past have often led to Catholic and pro-life voices being silenced.
The Russell Group, which represents 24 of the UK’s leading universities, has said its members will continue to safeguard academic freedom and free speech.
It said: “Facilitating an environment where all students and staff are able to inquire, study, and discuss is a responsibility our universities take extremely seriously.
“Russell Group universities will defend freedom of expression on campus and allow speaker events with diverse views on complex issues.”
Social policy group Christian Action Research & Education (CARE) welcomed the move.
“Freedom of speech and expression – fundamental rights – have come under an astonishing attack in recent years, particularly in universities, exactly the kind of institutions where free, open debate is to be encouraged,” said Jamie Gillies, of CARE.
“Christians are often silenced due to the countercultural nature of their views on matters such as life and sexual ethics.
“It is a welcome announcement from the Russell Group and it is good to see strong action by the government to ensure that universities are held accountable. We hope that educational settings will return to their historic ethos and allow robust criticism and debate on all issues in years ahead.”
Picture: A stock image of a poster supporting free speech in education institutions.