Universities free speech, freedom of expression and research freedom should really be one thing. But it is not like that. In Germany, a Scientific Freedom Network of 70 professors was recently established, concerned that a left-wing political right and the abolition of culture would create an intimidating environment in universities.
Unacceptable humility and censorship
We are already one step ahead in Great Britain. There have been several high cases for the abolition of culture in recent years. Lectures were canceled due to loud opposition from leftists or “transgender” groups. “No-platform” is a term used to describe the practice of robbing speakers of unpleasant views or freedom of speech.
Now the Conservative government plans to set up a “free speech champion”, a kind of ombudsman who will intervene in cases such as the abolition of culture and restrictions on educational freedom. Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said, “I am very concerned about the cooling of the campus from unacceptable complacency and censorship.” Academics who lose their jobs due to such disputes can contact the newly created department head in the student office directly for compensation. Current guarantees of freedom of expression need to be strengthened.
The echo was loud and split
Education Secretary Williamson’s response was loud – split. Angry reactions can be heard on the left. The university union has declared the UCU repeal culture a “phantom threat” and hopes the government will intervene incorrectly. The left-wing National Student Union also said there was no evidence that freedom of expression was in danger. Peter Dotchel, a longtime homosexual and human rights activist, told the BBC that the government was using the “cynical cultural war” and its political advantage as an important issue.
Others, on the other hand, were happy with the government’s plan. “This is a historic moment for freedom of speech,” Eric Kaufman, a political professor at Birkbeck College at the University of London, wrote in a comment to the Daily Telegraph. With the wife of the government, educational freedom is ultimately weighed more than the “emotional protection” of hurt groups, a subjective term that can be dealt with ideologically. Universities have a liberal environment, which is fueled by audit committees. This means that in universities that refer to all “vulnerable” groups as “safe havens,” the debate is not yet linked to ideas that oppose the left mainstream. Kaufman conducted a study on the matter last year. In a large poll, conservative and right-wing lecturers in particular complained that they were afraid of attacks and sought self-censorship. Others said Brexit supporters were being bullied.
Failure to protect educational freedoms
In several letters to the editor to the Times, professors and lecturers praised the Ministry of Education’s plans. “British universities have failed to protect educational freedoms,” wrote Matthew Goodwin of the University of Kent, along with Vernon Bogdanor of King’s College and Kathleen Stock, a philosopher at the University of Sussex. Oxford historian Selena Dodd, who has already been expelled from the Women’s Conference for “transphobic” comments, pointed out in a letter that her university had signed on to Stonewall’s “diversity” agenda for the LGBT lobby. It states that “gender identity” is “excluded” at birth. Todd complained that anyone who insisted on having biological sex could be attacked.
ADF International has welcomed the Ministry of Education’s word on freedom of expression as a step in the right direction. ATF Director Ryan Christopher Julia Rinkiwich, a medical and paramedic student who opposes abortion, founded the “Students for Life” group at the University of Nottingham and was later suspended from her studies because of her beliefs. The university administration later allowed her to study again. But she still has to apologize.
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