Freedom of speech, censorship and bias – interesting times in HE

Freedom of speech in HE is in the press – a lot – at the moment.  The debate is very polarised and polarising.  For that reason, I should clarify before I start that the views below are my own (and not an official position for BU or the Lighthouse Group).

It started last week, when the massive set of consultations on the Office for Students (OfS) and the new regulatory framework were launched with a flurry about freedom of speech. The Times published an interview with Jo Johnson discussing the proposal that measures to protect freedom of speech should be a condition of OfS registration. The Guardian notes proposed powers for the OfS to fine or suspend the registration of universities that fail to protect the freedom of speech on campus, including student unions that ‘no platform’ controversial speakers. Read the full post “Freedom of speech, censorship and bias – interesting times in HE”

What does Jeremy Corbyn’s grants policy mean for students and universities?

Labour-leadership-contender-Jeremy-CorbynThe past few days have seen an announcement from the Jeremy Corbyn Labour leadership campaign over the creation of a National Education Service (NES) and the reintroduction of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for 16-18 year olds and maintenance grants for undergraduate students.

The National Education Service which will fund education from ‘cradle to grave’ will include early years as well as adult skills was announced in July 2015 on the Labour List website as part of Jeremy Corbyn’s initial leadership campaign. It has however taken a year for this announcement. The NES is part of a clear narrative to win over staff and unions in the education sector who are Labour Party members to support Jeremy Corbyn.

Read the full post “What does Jeremy Corbyn’s grants policy mean for students and universities?”