About us

Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech

Group of people in lecture hall

We are a university that values academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law. We see these as vital components of being an inclusive community. Academic Freedom is an essential part of academic and University life and flourishes where there is tolerance of a wide range of views and beliefs which are lawfully expressed. Promoting the lawful expression of diverse views on our campuses and through events that we hold, including the lawful expression of views that some may find objectionable or offensive, is an important part of our responsibility to be inclusive. It enables all members of the University to feel able to express their views and beliefs within the law and encouraged to be active members of our University community. 

By exercising these freedoms with due regard to the values we share as a community, we can make our own contribution to the University flourishing as a place where new ideas are generated and different viewpoints are debated, in the context of being an inclusive community. As members of the University, we can do this by engaging in debate in a constructive manner that supports freedom of thought and expression within the law, promoting an enabling and inclusive environment which respects the rights of others. 

We celebrate the passion of our University members and recognise that there may be occasions when different beliefs expressed lawfully by some members of our community (or visitors to our campuses) conflict with those of others. Through our policies and procedures, we acknowledge that counter-speech and protest are also characteristics of a university committed to academic freedom, freedom of speech within the law and inclusion. However, the right to protest against the expression of views should never prevent others from exercising their right to freedom of expression within the law.

The University has in place a set of policies and procedures designed to promote academic freedom, freedom of expression and inclusion and to create an environment in which knowledge can be advanced and debate and challenge can be widened, not restricted. You can find out more about our approach by following the links to our policies and procedures below.