Skip to SearchSkip to ContentSkip to Footer
Home > News and blog > Free speech in universities

Free speech in universities

Responding to the Joint Committee on Human Rights report from its inquiry into freedom of speech at universities, Chris Hale, Director of Policy at Universities UK, said:

"Universities are absolutely committed to promoting and securing free speech and will not allow legitimate speech to be stifled. There is already a legal duty on the higher education sector to secure free speech within the law and universities have developed policies in this area.

"As the report states, there is little hard evidence of a systematic problem of free speech in universities. But, despite the thousands of events that go ahead across the sector without incident, a small number of flash-points and challenges do arise from time to time. It is important that universities are well equipped to secure free speech within the law, while balancing this with other responsibilities such as the safety of students and staff. We will look at the advice of the committee in this area and how it can complement the already extensive experience of managing such events and policies universities have in place.​

"Universities must continue to be places where difficult topics are discussed and where people, however controversial their views, should be allowed to speak within the law, and their views challenged openly."​

Key Contacts

Jo Hindle

Jo Hindle

Head of Media
Universities UK

Luke Lambert

Luke Lambert

Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Clara Plackett

Clara Plackett

Senior Press and Social Media Officer
Universities UK

Blog

Laptop, phone and tablet, at home studying

Covid-19 silver linings: how the pandemic has increased opportunities for disabled university students

15 July 2020
AbilityNet's Amy Low explains how new ways of working brought about by the pandemic have resulted in improvements in accessibility and inclusion for disabled university students.

The Royal Liver Building on the Mersey River

Culture in the age of Covid-19: why universities must take centre stage

10 July 2020
Professor Dinah Birch sets out how the University of Liverpool has ensured cultural experiences in the city remain on offer to communities during lockdown.

News

UUK response to latest UCAS data on university applications

9 July 2020
UUK responds to the latest UCAS which details a rise in the number of students applying to go to university, including those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

UUK response to latest UCAS data on applicant offers and student deferrals

25 June 2020
UUK has responded to the latest UCAS (18 June) data which details the number of applicants with a firm offer to start university this autumn and the latest on student deferrals.