Advance HE is opening a consultation to explore how freedom of speech and academic freedom can be more explicitly embedded in the Athena Swan and Race Equality Charters.
Advance HE will hold a series of roundtable discussions and invite responses to a stakeholder survey. The insights will inform Advance HE’s approach to supporting members in their use of the Charters to promote inclusive institutions, complementing our consultation on the legal obligations of the Charters in meeting regulatory requirements.
David Bass, Advance HE Director of EDI, said, “Freedom of speech and academic freedom are core values in higher education. Equality Charters complement these values as they help promote the voices of all, including those who may have previously lacked the opportunity to engage. It’s really important that this mutually supporting relationship is explicit and reinforced in the EDI Charters.
“We look forward to welcoming Vice-Chancellors, university administrators, Charters and EDI practitioners, and other colleagues who have oversight and responsibility for their institution’s EDI and freedom of speech activity.”
The roundtables follow our work with Universities UK and GuildHE last year which led to a joint sector statement and commitment by UUK, GuildHE, Advance HE, the National Union of Students (NUS) and CUC (Committee of University Chairs) on promoting academic freedom and freedom of speech, shared in December 2022.