The Government is planning to amend the Higher Education Support Act and the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act to strengthen campus protections of academic freedom and freedom of speech. Last week it released for consultation a new legal definition of academic freedom.
While I strongly support freedom of speech and academic freedom (and have a newly-acquired personal vested interest in academic freedom), I have reservations about the proposed definition.
The French review of freedom of speech in Australian higher education, which is the basis of the proposed amendments, recognised that freedom of speech and academic freedom are related but distinct concepts. But the proposed legal definition blurs them.Read More »