Monday, January 28, 2008

UK calls for profs to watch students for extremism

An interesting (Ok, terrifying!) debate is happening in the UK where some MPs are moving to have profs be watchdogs for extremism in students. Profs aren't pleased. This is from the Guardian. Links to full text below.

Call for campus extremism watch The UK government is encouraging university chiefs to watch out for extremists on campuses and report suspicious people to the authorities.

Education Secretary Ruth Kelly said they should protect free thinking but inform police of "unacceptable behaviour" by students or staff.

As she spoke Home Secretary Charles Clarke was giving details of proposed measures against glorifying terrorism.

There has been concern that ministers are seeking to "criminalise thought".

Free expression

Ms Kelly was addressing the annual conference of Universities UK at their headquarters in Tavistock Square, London - where a bomb tore apart a double-decker bus on 7 July.

She told the vice-chancellors the "moderate majority" must be protected from harassment, intimidation or pressure and be free to study.

Higher education institutions must continue to "teach people to think for themselves and express themselves and to listen to and consider the opinions of others".

But they must also identify and confront unacceptable behaviour.


read the whole story here:

read about University professors responses here:

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