How should universities respond when academic freedom is under threat?

Posted by ap507 at May 15, 2017 01:22 PM |
UK universities may be among the most autonomous, but they need international cooperation to make their voices heard, says President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Boyle

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Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor of our University, has written an article for the Times Higher Education discussing academic freedom and the value of international cooperation.

In the article he says: "The voice of universities needs to be strong, consistent and compelling, but the most effective way of making this voice heard is far from clear. Our recent experience in the UK demonstrates that at times we may be out of touch. Hence, while the Universities UK campaign to remain in Europe resonated across our campuses, this view turned out to be detached from the slight majority of people who voted for Brexit in the referendum.

"The new wave of “populist politics” does not appear to accord with the “expert voices” associated with universities, which, as bastions of free thought and independence, are characterised by some as part of the self-interested “liberal elite” or even, in some extreme cases, enemies of the state. This is a challenge for all of us who care about universities and academic freedom."

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