Anorak | Universities UK Says Segregation Of British Students Is Allowed

Universities UK Says Segregation Of British Students Is Allowed

by | 26th, November 2013

DO you want to speak in higher education? Universities UK, an organisation seeking to create “an autonomous university sector in the United Kingdom that, through excellence in teaching, research, and knowledge exploitation, raises aspirations, has an international reputation for innovation, and contributes to the wider economy and society. Our mission is to be the definitive voice for universities in the UK. We provide high quality leadership and support to our members, to promote a successful and diverse higher education sector.”

Universities UK has produced a guide for external speakers in higher education institutions “.

Free speech is fundamental to the role of universities. As a matter of law, universities in England and Wales have a statutory duty to secure freedom of speech, reflecting their mission as places where new ideas can be advanced and where open and free debate can and must take place. However


However, free speech is not an unqualified privilege.

No. It’s a basic human right. And one hard won.

One area that we felt deserved further attention was in relation to external speakers. The open and uncensored debate that is so rightly treasured by universities often involves contributions from external speakers. Invitations to external speakers play a central role in university life, not least in terms of allowing students to be exposed to a range of different beliefs, to challenge other people’s views and to develop their own opinions. Although most speakers are uncontroversial, some will express contentious, even inflammatory or offensive, views. In some cases, their presence on campus may be divisive. Universities have to balance their obligation to secure free speech with their duties to ensure that the law is observed, which includes promoting good campus relations and maintaining the safety and security of staff, students and visitors. In practice, achieving this balance is not always easy.

And after much saluting about free speech and much but-butting, we get to Case Study 2: Segregation “.

A representative of an ultra-orthodox religious group has been invited to speak at an event to discuss faith in the modern world. The event is part of four different speeches taking place over the course of a month exploring different approaches to religion. The initial speaker request has been approved but the speaker has since made clear that he wishes for the event to be segregated according to gender. The event organiser has followed agreed processes and raised the issue with university management. The event has been widely advertised and interest levels are high.

Tell him to get knotted (and you just know it’s a man)? It’s not a religious building. It’s a school of learning in the UK. Or maybe the audience what they think, putting it a vote? No. Neither

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Posted: 26th, November 2013 | In: News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink