On Academic Freedom

I used to take for granted that we had academic freedom in this country.

There are plenty of people who still argue that we do, including Jo O’Grady, secretary-general of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) who dismisses any suggestion to the contrary as “a myth” and a “think tank-inspired bogeyman” and Dr Will Davies, a political economist at Goldsmith’s College, who published a long article in the Guardian a couple of years back under the title, “The free speech panic: how the right concocted a crisis”. 

However, I am worried by the survey findings of the Centre for Policy studies which suggests that a significant number of people think that holders of certain views on both right and left which are well within the mainstream outside an academic environment are not views which their holders would feel it wise to express at a University - and significant minorities of those who don't share those views agree.

There is an interesting essay on the subject by Nigel Biggar at the Article site here.

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