09 Jul 2021
All UK universities give the utmost priority to defending free speech and academic freedom - it remains a core part of their DNA as institutions of free inquiry. Universities have long had clear requirements in these areas, both through acts of Parliament and from the formal governance ‘expectations’ of the Office for Students (OfS) since 2018.1 MillionPlus universities are committed to ensuring these values are upheld, and we will therefore work with the Government and parliamentarians to help us all underline our commitments in this area.
The introduction of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill, however, does leave a range of questions that need to be addressed in order for the Bill to live up to its laudable aims by ensuring a consistent, fair, and accountable framework.
The Bill as it stands poses too many unanswered questions that will generate unintended consequences for providers if not addressed by Parliament. We therefore hope to work with the Government and parliamentarians to improve this legislation.