External speakers play an important role in University life, giving members of our community an opportunity to have access to a broad range of views and beliefs and supporting our students to develop their own informed opinions.
We have a responsibility to protect academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law, and to ensure that a diversity of voices and views can be heard on our campuses and our online events. We have a vital role to play in convening difficult and sometimes uncomfortable conversation, and in curating the spaces in which ideas that some may find challenging or unpopular can be expressed and debated.
Our Speaker Code of Practice ensures we support academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law, while putting measures in place for consultation and counter-speech and making available support for members in our community who may find some lawful views objectionable or offensive.
Our Speaker Code of Practice (.pdf) outlines the proportionate and risk-based process that we operate to ensure that anyone invited from outside our community is aware of our expectations to promote academic freedom and freedom of speech within the law. The Code applies to all speakers participating and contributing to activities of the University, the University of Essex Students’ Union and University of Essex Faith Centre. It is underpinned first and foremost by the requirement for the University to act lawfully and fulfil our statutory obligations, which are paramount. It is also rooted in our values and our commitment to an inclusive community.
We have a legal duty to promote academic freedom, freedom of speech and equality and diversity within the law. Our Policy on Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech (.pdf) affirms the University’s commitment to promoting such freedoms within the law, as well as specifying circumstances in which these freedoms many need to be expressed.
Our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy sets out our obligations under equalities legislation. In order to realise our commitment to inclusivity, we strive to go beyond the minimum standards required by law, wherever we can and where it is lawful to do so, to ensure that we recognise, respect and protect all members of our community.
It is your responsibility to ensure that any IT equipment that you bring with you for your event is fit for purpose, electrically safe and with up to date safeguards against viruses and malware.
Where you are provided with access to any University IT facilities, hardware, software or networks, you must only use these for the purposes of delivering your event.
Your use of IT should be lawful.