Joint Committee on Human Rights

Freedom of Speech in Universities inquiry

Inquiry status: open

Report in preparation.

The Student Room is hosting a web forum for students.

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee has launched this inquiry to find out:

  • Whether Government policy on free speech in universities is coherent
  • Taken together, do the Prevent duty and the statutory duty to ensure free speech appropriately balance Convention rights and public interest considerations?
  • The role of the Office for Students in ensuring freedom of speech
  • University authorities have a statutory duty to secure freedom of speech, including on student union premises. Student unions say they are private bodies and have a right to refuse speakers. Should university authorities have responsibility for the activities of their student unions? If so, to what extent?
  • Is there concrete evidence that free speech is being suppressed in universities? Who should be responsible for monitoring this?
  • If there is a problem, in what ways is free speech being suppressed? By whom? What are the causes? Is any problem increasing?
Terms of reference: Freedom of Speech in Universities

Latest evidence

  • 07 Feb 2018 - Freedom of Speech in Universities - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF265 KB) Published 12 Feb 2018

    Evidence given by Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime, Home Office, and Mr Sam Gyimah MP, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation; Mr Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Joanne Midgley, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Experience, University of the West England, Bristol, Jonathan Wallcroft, Vice President, Brandon Gage, and Francesca Smith, Politics and International Relations Society, University of the West of England, Bristol (at 5.00pm).

Next meeting(s)

There are currently no public meetings scheduled.

Receive RSS updates

Share this page