Cancel culture’ and ‘no-platforming’ are to be challenged on university campuses with sanctions against institutions that fail to uphold freedom of speech.
The newly created Office for Students (OfS) will take a robust approach to free speech in response to growing censoriousness at campuses across the country.
In recent years, mainstream speakers such as Tory MP Amber Rudd have been barred from debates at Oxford University. Feminist Germaine Greer has also been blocked from debating trans issues and pro-life societies have faced outright discrimination from student bodies.
Lord Wharton of Yarm, chair of the OfS, told The Telegraph that moves to restrict speakers were “ridiculous” and stressed that “a free, open dialogue and free flow of opinion in higher education” needed to be upheld.
Describing free speech as “crucially important”, he added that new powers given to the OfS would be used to ensure that a diversity of opinion was available to undergraduate students.
Head of Communications at CARE James Mildred welcomed the announcement: