Students are demanding to be protected from ideas they find offensive or just uncomfortable. Academics should stop indulging this idea; students should grow upby Frank Furedi / January 21, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in February 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
Megan Dunn, President of the National Union of Students, responds to Furedi here
On both sides of the Atlantic, the cultural politics of higher education are undergoing a profound transformation. The values of experimentation, risk-taking and openness to new ideas promoted in the 1960s and 1970s have given way to a climate of moral regulation and conformism. University life has always been subject to pressures to conform, of course, and to submit to political and economic interests. However, until relatively recently, the main threat to academic freedom came from sources outside universities. Today it is no longer merely the illiberal media and intolerant politicians who call for dissident academics to be silenced or controversial speakers to be banned. Such calls are more likely to emanate from inside universities, and their most vociferous proponents are students, not faculty.