Universities 'are killing free speech', says group of leading academics

Students are being denied the opportunity to debate conflicting views due to political correctness and censorship, the group said

Shehab Khan
Saturday 19 December 2015 18:34
Comments
Oriel College Oxford
Oriel College Oxford

Universities are "killing free speech" by banning anything that causes offence, a group of leading academics have warned.

Students are being denied the opportunity to debate opposing views due to political correctness and censorship, the group argued in a letter published in The Telegraph.

Academics led by Frank Furedi, a professor at the University of Canterbury, said universities see students as customers and do not dare to stand against them.

The letter argued universities are curtailing freedom of speech “like never before” and also concluded that “students who are offended by opposing views are perhaps not yet ready to be at university”.

The group have called on vice-chancellors to promote freedom of speech and battle against censorship.

The statement comes after a campaign at an Oriel College at Oxford University to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes, an alumnus and benefactor, because he is regarded as being the founding father of apartheid in South Africa.

The letter described the battle over the statue as a “deeply worrying development”; after Oriel College said the statue does not comply with the values of a modern university.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in