The Office for Students will crack down on universities that fail to adequately safeguard free speech.
Students must not be shielded from views they disagree with under the banner of “safe spaces”, Britain’s universities minister has said, as he warns that the practise is “closing minds”.
The “worrying” trend of students seeking to “stifle” opinions that are counter to their own has swept across American campuses and is now gathering pace at British universities, Jo Johnson will say on Tuesday.
In a speech at the Limmud Festival in Birmingham, a celebration of Jewish learning and culture, he will warn that free speech is a key part of university life.
“In universities in America and worryingly in the UK, we have seen examples of groups seeking to stifle those who do not agree with them.
“We must not allow this to happen. Young people should have the resilience and confidence to challenge controversial opinions and take part in open, frank and rigorous discussions.”