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University Campuses: Freedom of Speech of Association

Volume 454: debated on Wednesday 13 December 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what legal obligations there are on universities to provide freedom of speech and freedom of association on university campuses to Christian Unions. (108061)

Universities have duties under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students, employees and visiting speakers. They must also ensure insofar as reasonably practicable that the use of the institution’s premises is not denied to any individual or body of people on the grounds of their beliefs, views, policies or objectives. In addition, the Education Act 1994 requires university governing bodies to take such steps as reasonably practicable to ensure the student union operates in a fair and democratic manner.

I believe that legitimate faith groups on campus should be affiliated with the students’ union provided that they are operating within the law and thestudents’ union framework. Students’ unions should be inclusive.