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The UK's only independent think tank devoted to higher education.

Keeping Schtum?: What students think of free speech (Wave 2 of the HEPI / YouthSight Monitor)

  • 22 May 2016
  • By Nick Hillman
  • HEPI number 85

Wave 2 of the HEPI / YouthSight Monitor focuses on freedom and the limits of freedom at UK higher education institutions, including: free speech; freedom from discrimination; No Platform policies; gender segregation; academic freedom; safe spaces; trigger warnings; library resources; and even whether it is appropriate for student unions to ban the sale of tabloid newspapers.

The results show strong support for the principle of free speech but also considerable support for mechanisms that limit free speech. The data could be interpreted as suggesting that full-time undergraduate students are confused, plain wrong or are responding to complicated issues in complicated ways. Whichever it is, we conclude that higher education institutions need to do more to debate and discuss these issues with their students.

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