Freedom of Expression: Antisemitism

(asked on 17th January 2023) - View Source

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of appointing a Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedoms on Anti-Semitism.

Answered by
Claire Coutinho Portrait
Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
This question was answered on 25th January 2023

The department has encouraged higher education providers to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism and has asked the Office for Students (OfS) to keep a record of those providers which have done so.

The department is clear that antisemitism is abhorrent. We remain committed to the IHRA definition and our belief that providers should adopt it. Students have a right to enjoy their university experience without the fear of antisemitic activity on university grounds and should be protected from harassment and violence.

The Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom will be a member of the board of the OfS, with responsibility for overseeing the free speech functions of the regulator.

The Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill will require reasonably practicable steps to be taken to secure freedom of speech within the law. The Director will oversee the free speech functions in that context.

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