Sir David Greenaway has weighed in on the debate regarding censorship at universities stating that politically correct students are killing free speech.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Nottingham has argued that it is the role of universities to defend free speech and stand up against the Students’ Unions that attempt to ban controversial speakers. This has been a controversial issue in recent months on the back of a petition to ban the feminist Germaine Greer from Cardiff University due to her opinions on transgender issues, with many commentators arguing that students are becoming one of the least open minded groups in society.

“His views are bonkers but the right response is not to say ‘therefore we must ban him”

“It’s a bit like this online petition that went viral to ban Donald Trump from visiting the UK, and Scotland in particular. His views are bonkers but the right response is not to say ‘therefore we must ban him”, Sir Greenaway told The Times. “You have him in, you listen to him and confront the arguments with more compelling arguments.”

This comes off the back of a letter written to the Daily Telegraph by academics which accused universities of denying a generation of students “the intellectually challenge of debating conflicting views.”

Students responding to the story on a Reddit thread have commented that this is not an issue at the University of Nottingham at all.

“I’ve never heard about anything like this in recent years. I guess he was just commenting on a general trend rather than what’s happening at his own university.”

“I study at the University of Nottingham. It is not an issue as far as I am aware,” one user argued, “The last major proposition that rocked campus politics that I remember was “Yolo” running for SU president and offering a zipline from campus to Ocean.”

Another user stated, “I’ve never heard about anything like this in recent years. I guess he was just commenting on a general trend rather than what’s happening at his own university.”

“The University of Nottingham leadership itself absolutely refused to stand up for academic freedom when the Terrorism act was being used against its own researchers,” a user stated, “This is a far greater threat to free speech than the occasional “politically correct” leftist student associations that are mostly powerless.” This comment refers to an incident that occurred in May 2008 in which a student and researcher, nicknamed the ‘Nottingham Two’ were arrested for suspected involvement in Islamic Terrorism.

Hannah Eves

Image: blogs.nottingham.ac.uk

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1 Comment

  1. James R. Pannozzi
    April 19, 2016 at 14:37 — Reply

    Fundamentally correct.

    When I first heard Trump, I was quite put off by his statements but later began to agree after realizing that it was more his personality rather than his ideas that were the problem. We are used to hearing our politicians present things in sugar coated easily digested sound bytes and Trump is no politician and has correctly and successfully waged war on political correctness. That is why he is winning.

    Regarding his idea to temporarily ban all Muslims until better methods of screening for terrorists can be worked out, I suggest to those of you in the UK that can still think straight, that you not only might not want to ban him, you might really want to invite him to hear someone speak, without “correctness” about a problem which seems ever more serious there, than here.

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