Government sets out plans for guidance on free speech in universities

17 May 2018

Harriet Harman MP, Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights, will be leading a debate in Westminster Hall on 17 May at 3pm on free speech in universities this afternoon, giving a chance to debate the Committee’s recent report on this issue and current Government policy.

This comes as Minister Sam Gyimah has written to the Committee (PDF PDF 35 KB) regarding the summit on free speech in universities recently held at the Department for Education.

The Committee notes that the Charity Commission, the Office for Students, the National Union of Students, Universities UK, independentHE, GuildHE and the European Human Rights Commission have agreed to collaborate on a single, clear piece of guidance to universities and student unions, setting out core principles for protecting and promoting free speech, and bringing together existing guidance and legislation.

This work is welcome, but notes that it will not be completed until autumn.

In the interim, the Committee is cascading its free guide to universities and student unions to ensure they have clear information about the legal framework governing freedom of speech in universities.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary Copyright

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