UK universities tackling extremism
Universities in the United Kingdom are grappling with the problem of how to tackle extremism, while maintaining academic freedom. The BBC reports:
Universities UK president, Steve Smith, said there had to be a balance between security and freedom of speech.
“It is essential that as a society we respond rationally to the issue of extremism,” said Professor Smith.
The working group, which will be formed from university vice-chancellors and other academics, will consider how to achieve the balancing act of preventing campus extremism without undermining the right for students and staff to hold free debates.
The group will “consider how universities can work with all relevant organisations, nationally and locally, to ensure the protection of freedom of speech and lawful academic activities, whilst safeguarding students, staff and the wider community from violent extremism”.
This follows the arrest of Nigerian-born Mr Abdulmutallab after an alleged attempted terrorist act on a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day.