15 August 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Speech Union Releases First Annual Universities Ranking Report
The Free Speech Union has released the first Annual Universities Ranking Report, taking a critical look at the policies and practices of New Zealand’s universities with regards to free speech, and “grading” them on whether they suppress or encourage academic freedom and free expression on campus, says Jonathan Ayling, spokesperson for the Free Speech Union.
“As an institution, the University is critical for introducing, challenging, and disseminating ideas in New Zealand culture and society. It has a traditional and statutory role as ‘critic and conscience’ of society and the Free Speech Union is determined to showcase universities that bear this responsibility, and to hold them to account when they don’t.
“The report analyses the policies and reported practices of universities, alongside the perceptions of their own academic staff (as shown in the Annual Free Speech Union Academic Survey) to determine where speech is most free on campus. It has been reviewed by the Free Speech Union Academic Advisory Council and presents a thorough overview of the state of free speech at universities.
“It is apparent which institutions uphold their role as ‘critic and conscience’ and those that seem to value their supposed progressive reputations over the ability for their staff and students to express themselves and perform research freely. The only university to receive a fail mark was Auckland University of Technology, which continues to display consistent opposition to free speech and its role as ‘critic and conscience’ of society.
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