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Hand covering mouth

Academic freedom

Woman being silenced

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.

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.


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

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 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.