Advance HE, GuildHE and Universities UK are working in partnership to hold a series of five two-hour roundtables in early 2022 centred on promoting free speech and good campus relations in higher education.
The roundtables will bring together a number of stakeholders from different roles and perspectives from across the sector, to share challenges and effective practice in five areas identified as of particular concern: academic freedom, employment and employment law, protection from harm and of freedom of speech, relationships with students’ unions and leadership, governance and regulation.
Discussions from the roundtables will inform our engagement with the Department for Education and Office for Students’ ahead of regulation and guidance implemented under the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill. The roundtables will also seek to understand the issues facing members of Advance HE, GuildHE and Universities UK and other sector stakeholders and how these may best be navigated, in order to update the Promoting Good Relations on Campus guidance.
Fostering good relations between different groups and protecting and upholding freedom of speech, are both core to the values and success of the higher education sector, yet these obligations can sometimes seem to compete.
"With these roundtables we are aiming to promote and reinforce university environments that encourage debate, the free exchange of ideas and protect academic freedom, while also preventing harassment and creating environments of mutual respect and inclusion."
Advance HE, GuildHE and Universities UK