Study declares Southampton one of UK’s best universities for free speech

The news comes despite their plan to crack down on freedom of information requests.


Southampton University was the only Russell Group university to score a ‘green card’ on a survey concerning University’s curtailment of free speech, carried out by activist group Spiked.

In the survey, it was revealed that 30 universities have banned certain newspapers from campus, and 13 have backed BDS.

SUSU’s council rejected a motion to denounce the NUS’ support for BDS last summer, despite an impassioned pro-Israel plea from former President David Mendoza-Wolfson.

SUSU was also given a green card by the survey, down from an orange card last year, something that only 13% of student unions across the country were given, with over half given a red card.

The study also slated ban-happy universities LSE, Swansea, Edinburgh, Aberystwyth and Leeds.

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Southampton has actually been ranked in the top five of all University’s in the country, despite controversies such as the cancellation of a debate on the status of Israel in April last year.

Spiked have conducted research into how many, and how often, University’s and student unions censor their student body, from newspapers to songs, also revealing that 20 student unions have banned clubs or societies.

A red card indicates an active approach to censorship, an orange is deemed as merely excessive regulation and a green card is awarded to those who do “not restrict or regulate speech or expression”.