Policy paper

Higher education: free speech and academic freedom

Sets out proposals to strengthen freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education in England.

Documents

Higher education: free speech and academic freedom (web version)

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Higher education: free speech and academic freedom (print version)

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Details

This report details how the government proposes to strengthen freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education in England by:

  • appointing a Free Speech and Academic Freedom Champion to the Office for Students board
  • requiring the Office for Students to introduce a new registration condition on free speech and academic freedom
  • strengthening existing legal duties on higher education providers to actively promote free speech
  • extending existing free speech duties to apply to students’ unions directly
  • enabling individuals to seek legal redress as a result of a breach of the duty
  • widening and enhancing academic freedom protections

It also sets out how we will work with higher education providers to:

  • set minimum standards for free speech codes of practice
  • ensure that free speech and academic freedom are upheld to a high standard
Published 16 February 2021
Last updated 17 February 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added the letter from the Secretary of State for Education to responsible officers.

  2. First published.