Group of Eight asserts its independence on free speech protection

The elite-university lobby stands its ground 

“We have and will protect freedom of speech on our campuses and have codes and regulations which are well-suited to this purpose. Amongst other things, this means we will not tolerate no-platforming,” the group states.

And the Go8 makes it clear that its members need no directing on how to do it.

“We regularly review our approach to freedom of speech as new issues arise and in that context we welcome the report prepared by the Hon Mr Robert French AC. Go8 universities support the strong freedom of speech principles as outlined in the draft code, and are assessing how they can enhance existing codes or regulations or be adopted alongside them,” the Eight state.

The lobby also points to its 2013 adoption of the Hefei Statement, which sets out the ten characteristics of a research university, including;

“A tolerance, recognition and welcoming of competing views, perspectives, frameworks and positions as being necessary to support progress, along with a commitment to civil debate and discussion to advance understanding and produce new knowledge and technologies.”

The Group of Eight’s statement follows reports of a push for universities to adopt as a system-standard the model-code of campus free speech protection set in the French review.

Below: The National Tertiary Education Union calls on the government to legislate to protect staff free speech


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