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Universities: Freedom of Expression

Question for Department for Education

UIN 164259, tabled on 16 July 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the summit held on 3 May 2018 to discuss the preparation of new guidance to promote freedom of speech at universities, and the Government response to the Eighth Report of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, Freedom of Speech in Universities, HC 1279, what plans he has to ensure that representatives of University Israel Societies are involved in the discussions on freedom of speech.

Answered on

19 July 2018

I am working with a number of partners in the Higher Education sector in the development of guidance. This includes the National Union of Students, who represent the majority of student unions including those with Israel societies.

I have asked the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to lead the guidance. As part of their evidence base the EHRC are considering the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry into freedom of speech in universities. The inquiry heard evidence from representatives of the Union of Jewish Students and university Israel societies.

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Interests declared
The Member has declared that they have interests which may be relevant to the subject matter of this question.