Threats to Freedom Archive

The QAA tells academics to decolonise Classics and Maths

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) is an independent UK body tasked with assessing the quality of university teaching. 98 per cent of UK universities are paid “members” of the QAA and receive its advice. The QAA issues “Subject Benchmark Statements”, which provide “general guidance” for the design of academic courses.  …

What does the new Labour government mean for academic freedom?

On 4 July, in the UK general election, Keir Starmer’s Labour Party won a huge parliamentary majority, ending 14 years of Conservative government. So, what will Britain’s new government mean for academic freedom? As we pointed out in our “election day” report on 30 June, Labour’s manifesto makes no explicit…

Election day: what do the parties say about academic freedom?

The Committee for Academic Freedom has reviewed the manifesto commitments of the seven main political parties in relation to academic freedom. A summary of the findings is below:  Conservative Party  The Conservative Party manifesto is available here. The manifesto states “The Conservative Party is a strong defender of freedom of…

University of Liverpool tells history lecturers to “problematise Whiteness”.

According to an article in The Telegraph on 15 June, the University of Liverpool recently issued a new set of guidelines to lecturers in the history department, advising them on how to “diversify” and “decolonise” their curricula. The guidance, sent to teaching staff earlier this month, explained how current courses…

Swansea University grudgingly complies with the law

Swansea University has allowed a gender critical event to go ahead on campus, while publicly stating that such events have a “negative impact” on staff and students.  On the 1st July, an event titled ‘Sex, Discrimination and the Equality Act’ will take place at Swansea University’s Taliesin Arts Centre. Speaking…

Durham debate on Gaza shut down by protestors

Durham University has allowed protesters to prevent a debate on the Israel-Palestine conflict from going ahead.  Durham University’s Durham Union Society (DUS) organised a debate to take place on 7th June on the motion This House Believes Palestinian Leadership is the Biggest Barrier to Peace. The debate was to have…

Exeter University introduces “Inclusive Practitioners Commitment”.

On 28 May, all staff at the University of Exeter received the following invitation in the university’s Weekly Bulletin: The link took readers through to a “commitment” which runs as follows: Inclusive Practitioners Commitment 2024 My goal is to be the kind of person that LGBTQ+ people can confide in…

Academic paper rejected following Twitter storm.

The New Bioethics has rejected a paper on non-academic criteria, and violated its own ethical guidelines by assessing papers differently depending on the author’s race and sex.  Dr. Perry Hendricks is an American academic philosopher, with a PhD from Purdue University. In 2023, he submitted a paper to The New…

Dr. John Armstrong rejected by journal for being “outspoken on EDI”.

A subject access request has revealed that the editor in chief at the journal BMJ Open assessed a paper for publication in part based on the author’s political commitments, as expressed on social media.  Dr. John Armstrong is a reader in financial mathematics at King’s College London. In July 2022,…