Students Show Support for Censorship

The student findings come as ministers prepare to publish a long-awaited higher education white paper, which is expected to include measures to tackle what they see as a growing culture of intolerance on university campuses.

 

The survey of more than 1,500 students found that 46% think it is always or mostly wrong to express offensive opinions to certain groups, compared with just 36% in 2013.

 

Some 43% of students said they would feel uncomfortable hearing controversial views that they disagreed with, while 42% said universities should be able to restrict speech or expression that might be offensive or harmful.

 

In contrast, only 19% of students thought universities should be places where any view can be expressed, regardless of how offensive it might be.

This survey reveals that students value safety, compassion and avoidance of discrimination above free speech. This is a shocking growth in support for censorship from students. It should be noted that ministers are preparing to publish a long-awaited higher education white paper. These results also show that fewer students think universities should be places where any view can be expressed, regardless of how offensive it might be. Censorship is an important topic, especially on university campuses, and this survey provides valuable insights into student perspectives.

Hillman said the survey showed “a very clear pattern” of most students preferring interventions such as trigger warnings on course content and restrictions on speakers.

 

“In 2016, we found considerable ambivalence and confusion about free speech issues. Now it is clear most students want greater restrictions to be imposed than have tended to … in the past,” Hillman said.

 

The findings come as ministers prepare to publish a long-awaited higher education white paper, which is expected to include measures to tackle what they see as a growing culture of intolerance on university campuses.

 

Some 43% of students said they would feel uncomfortable hearing controversial views that they disagreed with, while 42% said universities should be able to restrict speech or expression that might be offensive or harmful.

 

In contrast, only 19% of students thought universities should be places where any view can be expressed, regardless of how offensive it might be.

 

These findings reveal a shocking growth in support for censorship from students and highlight the need for action from ministers. The results show that students value safety and compassion above free speech and are increasingly uncomfortable with hearing controversial views they disagree with. This is a worrying trend, and it is clear that measures need to be taken to ensure that university campuses remain places where open dialogue and debate can take place.

On the other hand, Michelle Donelan, the higher education minister for England, said the report “shows a shocking growth in support for censorship across a wide range of indicators”.

 

“University leaders can no longer afford to stand aside but must take active steps to combat these intolerant attitudes on campus, promoting and protecting free speech,” she said.

 

“We cannot allow our young people – the future of this great country – to feel like their free speech is being stifled and that they have to bow to the majority opinions on campus.”

 

These comments from the higher education minister reveal a different perspective on the survey findings. While acknowledging that there is a problem with censorship on university campuses, Donelan emphasises the importance of free speech and of universities taking active steps to protect it. She argues that students should not feel like their free speech is being stifled and should be able to express their views without fear of reprisal.

 

The debate around censorship on university campuses is important, and this survey provides valuable insights into student perspectives. There is a need for action from both universities and the government to ensure that university campuses remain places where open dialogue and debate can occur.

For more updates regarding censorship, keep up with the articles provided by IPGCE.