The governing bodies of all higher education providers registered with the OfS must “secure freedom of speech” for students, staff and visiting speakers.
They, and student unions, must not deny use of their premises to anyone based on their ideas, beliefs or views and must produce a code of practice for running meetings and activities on their sites. The government has acted after repeated instances where speakers have been prevented from speaking on campuses by
people opposed to their views.
The bill, which is currently passing through parliament, allows a person to bring civil legal proceedings against an FE provider registered with the OfS, or a students’ union, if they deny the use of their premises to anyone based on their ideas, beliefs, or views. The college student unions which now could face expensive legal action are noticeably smaller than their university counterparts.