20 years ago

March 6, 2008

Violent scuffles at Wolverhampton Polytechnic, at a private meeting of the Conservative Student Association addressed by South African Embassy Secretary Louis Mullinder, raised questions about free speech on campus.

The meeting, to discuss "dismantling apartheid", broke up in disarray after it was stormed by protesters.

Michael Harrison, Wolverhampton's director, said that the incident showed the ineffectiveness of 1986 legislation, which laid an obligation on universities and polytechnics to guarantee freedom of speech for visiting speakers on campus. Mr Harrison said: "The legislation is flawed. There is no means of enforcing free speech and no penalty for a breach of it."

University of East Anglia vice-chancellor Derek Burke was having a tough time being taken seriously. Having recorded a "substantial interview" with Anglia Television to allay local fears about grant cuts, he was rather put out to have the broadcast cut short to make way for an item on Ken the Gerbil, the newly elected student president at the university.

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 3 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

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns