The Higher Education Freedom of Speech Bill completed its passage through Parliament this month. It’s been a long three-year road to victory.
The Bill places a duty on universities to not just protect, but promote academic freedom. More importantly, it establishes an academic freedom directorate within the Office for Students, the sector regulator, to monitor university policies. The Academic Freedom Director is likely going to be an individual with a strong belief in the mission.
The directorate will host an ombudsman to which students can swiftly appeal if universities try to punish them for holding controversial views, as occurred with gender-critical feminists like Jo Phoenix at the University of Essex or Kathleen Stock at the University of Sussex. In addition, the legislation empowers students and staff to sue universities that violate their academic freedom, a powerful incentive for university managers to reject the illiberalism of woke activists.
Leave a Comment
You must be logged in to post a comment.