UWE ranked as ‘Red’ for free speech

A ‘Red’ ranking is given for restricting transphobic and sexist speech among other things

 Spiked, an online current affairs magazine, has run an independent campaign to rank the levels of campus censorship in UK universities.

“The Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) is the UK’s first nationwide analysis of campus censorship. Through examining the policies and actions of universities and students’ unions, this annual survey provides a detailed insight into the state of free speech, debate and expression in the British academy.”

UWE has gained a ‘red’ rating which suggests that the university as an institution promotes an environment that is “hostile to free speech and free expression, mandating explicit restrictions on speech, including, but not limited to, bans on specific ideologies, political affiliations, beliefs, books, speakers or words”.

Only seven universities have gained a ‘green’ rating, most universities falling in the ‘red’ and ‘amber’ categories.

UWE is amongst 73 out of the 115 universities ranked gaining ‘red’ ratings, including University of Oxford and University of Bristol.

The reasons for UWE’s ‘red’ rating is due to policies that “[ban] ‘transphobic propaganda’ and restrict ‘needlessly provocative’ speech”.

The Students’ Union, which has also maintained its Red ranking, bans sexist, homophobic and racist views as part of its ‘Safer Spaces’ policy, and also places limits on speech which ‘may cause offence’. It has also banned adverts for payday-loans companies. The institution’s overall ranking remains Red.”