Free Speech Strikes Back in British Universities

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The United States is not the only country where freedom of speech is under threat at institutions of higher education. The United Kingdom, home to some of the world’s oldest institutions, including Oxford, Cambridge, and St. Andrews, has been witness to systemic efforts to persecute academics and students who have dissented from prevailing “woke” viewpoints. Unlike the Biden administration, but similar to a number of U.S. states including Florida, the British government has responded with legislation to throw the power of the state behind freedom of expression on campus.

Rishi Sunak had campaigned for Prime Minister last summer promising to “crack down on woke nonsense.” This spring, he began to make good on that pledge. In May, the British Parliament passed the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023, creating a legal obligation for Britain’s universities to protect the freedom of speech of students and …

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