Bishop of St Albans asks about classes on free speech in universities

The Bishop of St Albans asked a question about universities offering classes on free speech, during a debate on the use of philosophy in education on 1st November 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, it is not only about critical thinking; we need to have a place where those ideas can be exchanged, which is about free speech. I understand that the University of Cambridge has recently appointed a philosophy professor, who is teaching classes in free speech. Does the Minister think this is something we need in all our universities, and should it start in our schools as well?

Baroness Barran (Con): The right reverend Prelate will be aware of the legislation we were debating in Grand Committee only yesterday afternoon on the importance of free speech in our universities. The Government think that is of critical importance, as is academic freedom, but of course, it needs to start in our schools, and I have seen many fantastic examples of teachers engaging with children and giving them those skills and the confidence to debate.


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