During an academic conference on Thursday last week, conference goers were told that student’s effectively have a controlling share over the direction of the curriculum at British universities. This issue particularly concerns the right to free-speech not just for students but for academic staff, who fear they will be sacked for dissenting against the prescribed opinion of the Students’ Union.
Following on from previous articles written on this site, more and more evidence has been made available from academics, concerning the unethical influence by the SU over the curriculum at universities.
Professor Dennis Hayes, co-founder of ‘Academics for Academic Freedom’ said: Academics were being subjected to a “culture of censorious quietude” regarding their personal beliefs on campus.
“culture of censorious quietude”
The event, hosted by the University of Buckingham, is the second time in a year where academics have voiced concerns regarding the influence of students over the curriculum. If university professors can not create discussion around controversial but otherwise relevent subjects without being accused by the left of being Islamophobic, homophobic or transphobic what is the point of university?
Many rising social issues such as gender-fluidity, feminism and gay-marriage have become no-go issues of discussion within Universities. This so much so that Professors fear that not only do their students, but their colleagues, possessing differing opinions from the prescribed SU-norm will be forced out of university.
The consequence of this being the quality and purpose of university has been systematically eroded by the SU. The freedom for discussion and debate on all socio-political issues facing our society is now forced to be in only one direction, one prescribed by the left.
Unqualified and stupid children, who have been given charge of a shocking amount of university property across the UK are now dictating the liberal and socialist agenda of universities, to the point where any dissenting opinion to their own is outlawed.
Hayes continued to say:
“The cry of offence, the fear of personal emotional hurt, is now the greatest threat to academic freedom,”
Jo Johnson, Universities Minister for the UK also commented recently saying that the erosion of free speech by these snowflake liberal groups was a danger to Britain’s place in the world as an “intellectual powerhouse”.
Johnson had previously spoken out against safe spaces and ‘no-platforming’ of controversial or otherwise right-wing guests at universities. Johnson states “if you don’t have that climate you’re really not going to expand the frontiers of understanding and we’re really not going to make progress”.
“[Freedom of speech] is a core legal duty for universities,” – Jo Johnson.
As a student at the University of Nottingham, I was shocked – but otherwise unsurprised – to find that my university scored top of the anti-freedom of speech group of uni’s.
Nottingham ranked joint third.
The Students’ Union are an enemy of free speech at universities.
Students should be incredibly critical of their union, not just for the suppression of their own professors who should be the ones educating them and encouraging an atmosphere of open debate, but also their fellow students who are elected to the SU by the 3% turnout who bothered to vote for them.
At Nottingham in particular, the SU and the University itself have banned the joint 3rd most amount of speakers from visiting their campus, they are rated ‘RED’ overall out of a traffic light categorisation from Spiked Magazine. Some of the other offenders (in order of severity) include Edinburgh, Newcastle, Queen Mary, Cardiff, Swansea, Leicester and Sheffield.
I am personally, incandescent at my universities lack of regard for alternate opinion, at a time when they consistently preach that LGBT and liberal views are not respected enough. Instead it appears the SU have plotted to sideline right-wing views in the name of ‘equality’.
This should serve as a rallying cry for those who respect freedom of speech, on both sides, left and right of the spectrum.
Those who are students or indeed professors at university today, need to think to themselves if they deserve to be there. If they feel able to handle other’s opinions, if they can handle being “offended”, if they can bare listening to someone with right-wing, controversial, opinions.
This is the time where a fight-back must occur at university, for right-wing students to finally give their professors the courage to stick their necks out and put meaningful discussion back on the table.
Now is the time to give the privileged, spoilt, elitist, left of the university campus the reality check. For when they leave university, they’re only going to get it anyway.