Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Politics and International Studies

Debate Academic Freedom with Higher Education Minister

17 June 2008 | 6:00pm | Seminar

Parkinson Court

Come along and join the debate with the minster: Gavin reid, ex-president of Leeds UCU, will start the initial debate with the minister, then it is open to the floor.

Minister of State for Higher Education, Bill Rammell, will host a number of events across the country with members of the University and College Union (UCU) debating academic freedom. The debates have been organised to create lively discussion and share thoughts, ideas and concerns on academic freedom and free speech.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "Academic freedom is absolutely vital to any civilised society. With it comes social responsibility and a duty of care to students and fellow staff, which academics fully recognise.

"UCU members welcome the chance to hear the minister's views on the subject and to put questions to him regarding the controversial government guidelines and other concerns they have about academic freedom's key role in our universities."

Mr Rammell said: "Promoting academic freedom is the best way to challenge violent extremism. It is only by holding a mirror up to the views of extremists that we can expose them for what they are. It is the responsibility of all of us - institutions, staff, students and the Government - to foster shared values and promote good campus relations.

"These debates will enable me to engage with the people on the ground to debate academic freedom, as well as taking away new viewpoints and suggestions on the protection of staff and students. I believe that in freedom of speech and debate we have one of the most powerful means at our disposal to refute violent extremist views on campuses and promote a cohesive society."

Entry by ticket - tickets available from Sue Redhead in the UCU office.

Location Details

Centenary Gallery off Parkinson Court in the main Parkinson building at the entrance to Leeds University.

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