Universities have wide-ranging responsibilities. They are open institutions where academic
freedom and freedom of speech are fundamental to their functioning; where debate,
challenge and dissent are not only permitted but expected, and where controversial and
offensive ideas are likely to be advanced. Intellectual freedom is fundamental to their
mission, their teaching and their research.
But all freedoms have limits imposed by law in order to protect the rights and freedoms of
others. The rules are neither simple nor always easy to apply; and they continue to change. Institutions, when making decisions around external speakers should have clear policies and procedures in place. There are a range of resources available to assist institutions in doing this.
UUK has produced guidance on freedom of speech rights and responsibilities.