The freedom code

May 20, 2010

Your article "'Freedom to say anything to anyone' is not what we need" (6 May) failed to recognise the centrality of academic freedom to lecturers' roles as professionals, their contracts of employment and how they work within the academic community.

The definition offered in the 1988 Education Act may require updating, but its core principle should remain the foundation of academic freedom. At a time when the government appears to privilege certain forms of research over others, when companies insert terms into contracts that curtail the right of researchers to publish their findings, and when universities attempt to tighten control over intellectual property, academic freedom must be defended.

This right should encompass the ability to speak out against management decisions and express unpopular views without fear of reprisal. Codes of behaviour protecting staff when they "whistle-blow" and statutes that identify their rights of free speech must be enacted. In short, academic freedom must be broadened and strengthened.

Ron Mendel, Branch secretary, University and College Union, University of Northampton.

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Research Assistant LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS & POLITICAL SCIENCE LSE
Lecturer in University Study Skills UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN
Lecturer in English Language UNIVERSITY OF HAFR AL BATIN

Most Commented

question marks PhD study

Selecting the right doctorate is crucial for success. Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman share top 10 tips on how to pick a PhD

India, UK, flag

Sir Keith Burnett reflects on what he learned about international students while in India with the UK prime minister

Pencil lying on open diary

Requesting a log of daily activity means that trust between the institution and the scholar has broken down, says Toby Miller

Application for graduate job
Universities producing the most employable graduates have been ranked by companies around the world in the Global University Employability Ranking 2016
Construction workers erecting barriers

Directly linking non-EU recruitment to award levels in teaching assessment has also been under consideration, sources suggest