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Freedom of speech in universities: Joint Committee on Human Rights evidence session

Freedom of speech in universities: Joint Committee on Human Rights evidence session

Theos’ Ben Ryan gave evidence to the Joint Committee on Human Rights’ inquiry on freedom of speech in universities on 29th November 2017.

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The Joint Committee on Human Rights in Parliament launched an inquiry into freedom of speech in universities in November 2017. Theos’ Ben Ryan was asked to give evidence before the MPs on 29th November. 

Ben drew upon Theos’ research project into faith and belief–related student societies. We are exploring the roles that these societies play on campus, the challenges they face and how they overcome them, and how they might contribute to fostering cohesive campuses. 

Watch the full video of the evidence session here.

Theos’ Simon Perfect also submitted evidence to the inquiry, drawing on his research with SOAS’ Alison Scott–Baumann about students’ unions’ status as charities and the implications for freedom of speech. Read his submission here.

Both Ben and Simon’s evidence was cited several times in the inquiry’s final report.


Listen to Ben give evidence to the inquiry on 29th November 2017.

Witnesses: Liron Velleman, Union of Jewish Students; Ben Ryan, Theos Think Tank; Andrew Copson, Humanists UK; Yusuf Hassan, Federation of Student Islamic Societies; Charlotte Moore, Cardiff University; and Alyaa Ebbiary, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Playback on the audio begins at 19.44.

Ben Ryan

Ben Ryan

Ben first joined Theos as an intern in September 2013 and has been a researcher since 2014. He read Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge and also has an MSc in European Studies from the LSE European Institute.

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