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Universities: Freedom of Expression

Question for Department for Education

UIN 151116, tabled on 7 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) freedom of speech and (b) open debate in universities; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

15 June 2018

Free speech within the law is an essential precondition of thriving universities. Free speech underpins diversity of thought, allows students to develop the ability to think critically, and exposes them to new ideas. I held a free speech summit on 3 May 2018. At the summit, university leaders and regulators agreed to develop a single piece of guidance to help the higher education sector promote free speech and open debate. The guidance is expected to be published in the autumn.