It’s probably too late by the time people start making recommendations like “academic freedom champions.”
Fewer than half of students consistently support freedom of speech and two fifths favour censorship and no-platforming of controversial speakers, research has shown.
A “culture of conformity” may also be having an effect on undergraduates, who are often too intimidated to espouse unpopular views on campus, according to a report by the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange.
Deep-rooted reform is needed at universities, which should establish academic freedom champions reporting directly to the vice-chancellor, it says.
And it’s not just in the UK. Depending on how one looks at the problem, the US is either a little better or much worse. The good news is that soon there will be nothing left to conform to.