The Independent is reporting that a minister’s claim that a student reported an academic for “hate speech” after they took the British side when lecturing on the Cold War has been denied by the university.
Sam Gyimah, the universities minister, warned in a speech today (14/06/18) that a “monoculture on campus” had emerged with a “lack of diversity of thought”.
Mr Gyimah told an audience at the University of Buckingham that the student “took offence” to the way the Cold War event in the 1940s was taught by the lecturer of war studies.
But following his comments to the Festival of Higher Education, King’s College London said there was “absolutely no evidence of any complaint or allegation of hate speech” made against any lecturers.
The minister’s comments come amid continuing discussion about free speech at universities – with reports of speakers and debates being opposed or criticised, often by student unions or societies.
Mr Gyimah said “People who use identity politics as a way of frustrating free speech. This is a really, really big problem and there is a danger of a cultural denial.”
When asked about racism on campus at the event, Mr Gyimah said it was “unacceptable” and he called on universities “to be honest about it, to face up to it” and to deal with culprits as swiftly as possible.
His comments come after The Independent revealed this week that the number of racist incidents reported to universities increased by 61 per cent in two years.
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