Category

Academic freedom
Words by Liz Morrish, independent scholar.  In August 2020, the UK think tank The Policy Exchange produced a report on Academic Freedom in the UK, alleging a chilling effect for staff and students expressing conservative opinions, particularly pro-Brexit or ‘gender critical’ ideas. This is an issue that was examined by a 2018 parliamentary committee on...
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Words by Andrew M Colman, Professor of Psychology at the University of Leicester. The UK Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, wrote to universities in October 2020 directing them to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of anti-Semitism by Christmas, and warning that any universities refusing to comply could face cuts in funding. Only...
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As the world welcomes a new year, the issues that the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on higher education remain. Students across the UK have begun rent strikes, university staff face the prospect of returning to unsafe campuses, and debates about the value of online learning rage on. Calls for students to get rent rebates at...
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To members and friends of CDBU, Please consider signing this open letter condemning the repression of academic freedom in India and demand the immediate release of jailed academics, scholar-activists, students and artistes. Dr Rowan Williams, our Chair of Trustees, has provided the following message calling on the academic community to act now to defend academic...
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As Covid cases across the UK rise exponentially, universities have quickly become virus hotspots. Students forced into quarantine have reported feeling “abandoned” by their universities, raising concerns about the mental health crisis that might be triggered by the “draconian” rules being enforced on campuses. Call for contributors!CDBU would like to expand their pool of blog...
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Once again, the return of staff and students to university campuses has dominated Higher Education news. UCU insist that the risks of spreading Covid-19 is still far too high, especially without proper Track and Trace and testing protocols in place. Meanwhile, the DfE discussed new legislation to “protect free speech and academic freedom” at universities,...
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Words by Eric Lybeck, Presidential Academic Fellow at the Manchester Institute of Education. Yesterday, Policy Exchange published a report on academic freedom in British universities drawing on a flawed survey with inconclusive results. This did not stop major newspapers from declaring the report evidence of the “epidemic of left-wing bias” in academia. Equally, it is...
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Words by Liz Morrish, independent scholar. One thing governments have learned over the last 30 years is not to let a disaster go to waste. In the guise of offering a survival strategy for universities in the pandemic, the Department for Education has issued a document: Establishment of a Higher Education Restructuring Regime in Response...
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The government recently published their ‘Restructuring Regime’ for universities facing financial collapse, causing many to question whether university autonomy is a thing of the past. The petitions committee announced that there will be no automatic tuition fee refunds for students, and a new student loan repayment system has been heavily criticised for ‘misleading’ graduates. Latest...
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PRESS RELEASE: July 21, 2020 The Council for the Defence of British Universities is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Rowan Williams (Lord Williams of Oystermouth) as our new Chair of Trustees.  We offer a warm welcome to Lord Williams, who we know will be an invaluable addition to the organisation. Lord Williams offered...
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