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Advance HE welcomes Universities UK’s briefing paper, 'How can universities prepare for the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act?'

02 Oct 2023 | Advance HE Universities UK’s briefing offers a clear and pragmatic guide for institutions

Advance HE welcomes the Universities UK’s briefing: 'How can universities prepare for the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act?'

The paper highlights what has changed as a result of the new legislation and offers an overview of the legal landscape around Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, including measures institutions could take to prepare themselves before the act comes into effect.

Advance HE set out its approach to Freedom of Speech and Academic freedom earlier in the year highlighting work to date to promote Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in the sector.

In the coming weeks, Advance HE will publish further support for its members and the sector, including:

  • Guidance on Considering Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom in Organisational Positions on Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)
  • Guidance on Protected Beliefs
  • Guidance on Promoting Good Relations in HE.

Alison Johns, Chief Executive Advance HE, said, “Universities UK’s excellent briefing paper frames the key elements of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom with great clarity. Free speech and academic freedom are core values of the higher education sector. We are unequivocal in our support for them.

“Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech underpin the integrity of every area of our work, whether in governance, leadership, Teaching and Learning, or EDI; and we place the highest priority to support the sector in promoting and protecting them.

“Our revised and new guidance documents will further support higher education providers in their work to promote free speech in tandem with their responsibilities to safeguard the dignity and respect of students and staff as laid down in the Equality Act 2010 and other related legislation, including the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act."

We feel it is important for voices to be heard to stimulate debate and share good practice. Blogs on our website are the views of the author and don’t necessarily represent those of Advance HE.

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