Majority of UK Universities 'Actively Censor Free Speech'



63.5% of UK universities are now actively censoring free speech, according to Spiked's FSUR (Free Speech University Rankings). 115 universities were ranked using a traffic light system.  Red described universities that have 'banned and actively censored ideas on campus', Amber describes described those that have 'chilled free speech through intervention' and Green described universities with a 'hands off' approach,

The majority of universities spiked surveyed were in the Red category.  Top universities such as Oxford, Durham, LSE and King's College London. Oxford was listed as censoring speech for reasons including banning a debate on abortion.

Only one improved on last year to become Green - Loughborough.  It is one of just seven universities classed as not intervening to prevent free speech. On the flip side, 13 universities went from being Amber to Red while six switched from Green to Amber. Just two went from Red to Amber.  The likes of Cambridge, York and St. Andrews have remained Amber since 2016.


More on Free Speech:

Does the UK have a free speech problem? | Toby Gould
Free Speech in the UK: An Overview
Free Speech: In Defence of the Students | Gabriel Rutherford


Spiked has described the findings as "a very grim picture" and speaks of a "crisis of free speech on campus"

However the methods used to calculate the rankings have been called into question.  For example, introducing mandatory consent talks contributed to 'censoring free speech'.  York, for example, was ranked Amber partly due to their 'Zero Tolerance towards Sexual Harassment' policy.

Spiked assessed the actions of both the university and student union (SU) to rank them.  They responded to the findings by saying: "Censorship on campus is getting worse as universities and students’ unions seek to ban or regulate or smother free speech out of existence. In what should be bastions of open debate, speaking your mind is now a dangerous game."



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Majority of UK Universities 'Actively Censor Free Speech' Majority of UK Universities 'Actively Censor Free Speech' Reviewed by Student Voices on 11:57 Rating: 5

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