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Academic freedom

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UCU is committed to promoting and protecting the academic freedom of its members and of UK higher education institutions, and campaigns locally, nationally and internationally against threats to such freedoms.

You can find links below to the current major policy areas affecting these freedoms.

Future of Work in Post-16 Education

The Future of Work in Post-16 Education project will consider the threats and opportunities of the technology being used in the sector now and in the future, and how UCU should support members and branches to respond.

UCU House of Lords briefing on academic freedom

UCU briefing on the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill produced ahead of the House of Lords second reading on Tuesday 28 June 2022.

UCU lodges academic freedom allegation

Following a major report on academic freedom, UCU has submitted an allegation to the Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts regarding the UK's government's non-compliance with the 1997 UNESCO recommendation on the status of higher education teaching personnel.

Academic freedom in 2017

Wide-ranging report commissioned in 2017 by UCU as part of its efforts to better define what academic freedom means and to ensure it is better protected.


UCU and NASUWT statement on the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015.

UCU statement on academic freedom

Growing concerns about the threats to free academic inquiry and opinion have prompted the UCU to publish a statement on academic freedom.