QUB should defend free speech … not pander to censors

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 28th, 2021 by steve

“How wrong I was. I was saying to a colleague the other day that society here had to be praised for the way in which freedom of speech and resistance to the worst excesses of cultural witch-hunting had been resisted …” (more)

[Liam Kennedy, Belfast Telegraph, 28 October]

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Scientist Richard Dawkins ditched: are university students stifling free speech?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 3rd, 2020 by steve

Ireland“It is one of the oldest university societies in the world. The College Historical Society – popularly known as the Hist – has been a feature of student life at Trinity College Dublin since 1747. It boasts about 10,000 members and has achieved a mild sort of celebrity outside of Trinity’s venerable grounds thanks to the controversial debates it has hosted over the years …” (more)

[John Meagher, Independent, 3 October]

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The silencing of academics

Posted in Governance and administration on February 6th, 2019 by steve

“The Equality and Human Rights Commission of England and Wales, along with other higher-education organisations, has published new guidelines designed to enshrine freedom of expression as the default position on campus. There’s surely no better illustration of the low regard for free speech on some campuses …” (more)

[Joanna Williams, spiked, 6 February]

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Free speech in universities: a new guide for England and Wales

Posted in Governance and administration on February 5th, 2019 by steve

“As readers of this blog know, the issue of freedom of expression in universities has frequently been in the news over recent years. It has been alleged repeatedly that university communities have become bad at ensuring that a variety of views on controversial topics can be expressed without hindrance, for example views that support conservative politics, or certain arguments regarding transgender matters …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 5 February]

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New doctrine threatens freedom of speech in universities

Posted in Governance and administration on January 3rd, 2019 by steve

Ireland“A principal function of the university is to conduct rational enquiry in order to discover/create new knowledge. Rational enquiry is dependent on academic freedom, ie freedom of speech that allows full and free contest of ideas. Freedom of speech is so fundamental to rational argument that, if it is denied in a university, we no longer have a university …” (more)

[William Reville, Irish Times, 3 January]

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We’re not children. So trust us with grown-up debate

Posted in Governance and administration on November 21st, 2018 by steve

Ireland“There is a general tendency to consider universities in some way intellectually and functionally separate from society as a whole. We think of them, in some cases accurately, as places where young people go to test the boundaries of the world view they accrued during childhood and adolescence …” (more)

[Laura Kennedy, Irish Times, 21 November]


Relax, Jordan Peterson, Your Freedom of Speech Isn’t Under Threat

Posted in Governance and administration on November 3rd, 2018 by steve

Ireland“How times change. Cast yourselves back to 2014, my first year at university – a halcyon age when you could get a naggin in Maguire’s for a €5 and Wigwam was still the Twisted Pepper – and there was, in a little-known nightclub called Hangar, an event held called Keeping Up With Bruce Jenner …” (more)

[Alanna MacNamee, Trinity News, 2 November]

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Universities: Is free speech under threat?

Posted in Governance and administration on October 23rd, 2018 by steve

“Free speech is being threatened at British universities by a culture of offence among certain students, according to critics. A Parliamentary inquiry has reported that the regulator, the Office for Students, has threatened to fine universities that fail to uphold free speech …” (more)

[Rachel Schraer and Ben Butcher, BBC News, 23 October]

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Extremist speeches ‘should be challenged’ not banned

Posted in Governance and administration on June 10th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Counterterrorism legislation to prevent extremist speeches on university campuses will not stop its spread, a conference in Co Carlow has heard. ‘Extremist speeches should be met by better, stronger ideas that challenge the speakers rather than a ban’, said Maajid Nawaz, founder of Quilliam, a London based counterextremism think-tank …” (more)

[Sylvia Thompson, Irish Times, 10 June]

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Israeli ambassador and TCD

Posted in Governance and administration on February 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – The members of Academics for Palestine have read with incredulity ‘Trinity condemns “unacceptable attack” on free speech’ (February 21st). The declarations of Israeli ambassador Ze’ev Boker, whose speech at Trinity College Dublin was cancelled after a student protest, and those of Trinity provost Patrick Prendergast, are a striking reversal of reality …” (more)

[Conor McCarthy, Irish Times, 27 February]

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Trinity condemns ‘unacceptable attack’ on free speech

Posted in Governance and administration on February 22nd, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College Dublin has condemned a protest that led to the cancellation of an event with the Israeli ambassador to Ireland as an ‘unacceptable attack on free speech’. Ze’ev Boker was due to speak on Monday at a talk organised by the Society for International Affairs (SOFIA) …” (more)

[Colin Gleeson, Irish Times, 21 February]

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Free speech university rankings: a case of grade inflation

Posted in Governance and administration on February 16th, 2017 by steve

“Exciting news for those of us in higher education who believe in free speech as the third incisive Spiked analysis of free speech in universities is published. Always a landmark event and sure to grab the headlines …” (more)

[Paul Greatrix, Registrarism, 16 Februay]

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Free Speech University Rankings

Posted in Governance and administration on February 14th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“I have written on this blog in the past about university free speech rankings in the UK and the US. The online current affairs magazine, spiked, has published its third annual Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) of the UK’s universities …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 13 February]

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Free speech and violence on campus

Posted in Governance and administration on February 4th, 2017 by steve

“Sir, – Those who participated in violent protests at the University of California, Berkeley, this week, with the aim of preventing an appearance by Milo Yiannopoulos, have done more to empower the Breitbart contributor and his fellow Trump-adoring acolytes than allowing him to speak ever would have …” (more)

[John Hogan, Irish Times, 4 February]

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Kamal El Mekki responds to criticism of TCD visit

Posted in Governance and administration on March 6th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“A preacher whose visit to the Muslim Student Association was criticised last week has denied defending the killing of apostates of Islam. Several students had objected to Kamal El Mekki being allowed to speak on campus …” (more)

[Catherine Healy, Trinity News, 6 March]

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University free speech rankings in the UK and the US

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on February 2nd, 2015 by steve

Ireland“For the first Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) in the UK, Spiked ranked the policies and actions of universities and students’ unions, for free speech purposes, using a traffic-light system …” (more)

[Eoin O’Dell, Cearta, 2 February]

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Free Speech Rankings find restrictions at 80% of universities

Posted in Legal issues on February 2nd, 2015 by steve

UK“A new study has found restrictions on freedom of expression at four out of five UK universities. Across 115 higher education institutions included in the first ever Free Speech University Rankings, produced by the online magazine Spiked, 135 bans were instituted or upheld over the past three years …” (more)

[Chris Havergal, Times Higher Education, 2 February]

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Universities need less civility and more ‘shit-kicking’

Posted in Life on September 12th, 2014 by steve

“The University of California at Berkeley was the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement (FSM), a coalition of students and staff who came together in 1964 to hold sit-ins and protests to demand unrestricted freedom of speech on campus …” (more)

[Dennis Hayes, spiked, 11 September]

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Universities should be the last place to ban free speech

Posted in Governance and administration on November 24th, 2013 by steve

“The censorship of an atheist bookstall at freshers’ week is just another example of heavy-handed repression in our universities …” (more)

[Nick Cohen, Observer, 23 November]

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Free speech at universities abysmal

Posted in Governance and administration on November 4th, 2012 by steve

“The ‘abysmal’ state of free speech at Canadian public universities is stifling the right of students to speak their minds, according to a new report card that gives mostly failing grades to universities and their student unions …” (more)

[Sarah Boesveld, University World News, 4 November]

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