National Union of Students Claims No Free Speech Crisis at Universities

Gavin Williamson’s plan to strengthen free speech in higher education sent Twitter into a frenzy yesterday after it was announced that universities would become liable for upholding freedom of expression and preventing “the silencing of voices” on campus. The proposals even include financial penalties for breaching the new measures…

Predictably, the National Union of Students (NUS) was incensed, firing out a barrage of tweets claiming “there is no free speech crisis at UK universities” and “students’ unions… have constantly been committed to upholding and promoting free speech at their institutions”. Yet just last year Bristol University’s student union quoted an abrupt and prohibitive £500 security fee to students attempting to host a talk by Mark Regev, the Israeli ambassador. And last March, Amber Rudd was publicly uninvited from speaking at Oxford University just thirty minutes before her scheduled arrival. The government knows that intolerant attitudes at university eventually seep through into the real world…

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