Some unis are making efforts to protect teachers' status, but the lecturers' union is protesting

Snap poll of Conservative activists finds strong support for disclosure of University course content relating to Brexit

London: 26th October 2017: A poll recently conducted by Conservative Progress, a grassroots organisation that exists to promote conservatism in the UK, has found that an overwhelming majority of respondents believe the public has a right to know what course content is being included in University courses with regards to Brexit. There is also a widespread perception that course content is heavily biased against Brexit.

In a survey of 327 Conservative activists conducted on October 25th, we found the following:

  • 83% of respondents do not believe Brexit is taught in an impartial manner
  • Of the respondents who are current students at UK universities, 86% said their experience was that Brexit was not taught impartially
  • Of those who responded saying they did not believe it was impartial, 98% said they believed the bias was negative towards Brexit.
  • 88% said they believe the public have a right to know what content is being taught with regards to Brexit

Our respondents have provided the following quotes on condition of anonymity.

  • I don’t want to come out as conservative yet, as it isn’t safe to do so at my University (Sussex)
  • I didn’t risk writing anything that could be construed as anti-EU/pro-Brexit in my EU law exam.
  • A lecturer in a Criminology lecture stated how he believed when we left the EU no planes would be able to fly into or from Europe. He then continued to slam anybody who had voted to leave which was a clear attempt to make people such as myself feel uneducated and guilty. After we moved on he came back to the topic stating that he’d love to teach a module on ‘The aftermath of Brexit’ and be able to educate idiots on the consequences of decisions.
  • Educational left-wing bias is rife, I am a qualified long time secondary school teacher. It has become more rampant and viscous, totalitarian even last few years
  • All my fellow students and lecturers were pro remain and in order to “keep the peace” anyone who wasn’t (ie they backed Brexit) they just keep quiet , this is plain wrong!
  • I work in a university – the extent to which some academics are seething and/or emotionally unstable on this issue is so great that it is impossible for them not to carry considerable bias into their lectures. There will also be a huge amount of confirmation bias and groupthink, given the leanings of students on these issues.
  • If you have a pro Brexit opinion, during debates you got abuse thrown at you not only from other students but lecturers as well. Which is why it’s mainly biased against Brexit as the pro Brexit students choose not to say anything during debates. You find it’s only people on the left of politics who shout and cause issues during our Debates. In the end those on the middle ground or to the right sit there in silence as not they don’t want to lose a whole lecture in arguments. This is what happens when we voice our opinions
  • As someone who works in secondary schools, I am unable to express my opinion on Brexit as I am immediately shouted down and told I am racist. These comments potentially could affect my job.
  • I am a PhD candidate and am studying by distance so I only see my supervisor occasionally, however every time I have met with her for supervision she has made strong, anti-Brexit comments. Prior to the referendum she stated that voting to leave was racist, xenophobic and she would leave the country in the event of Brexit. The day after article 50 was triggered I had a supervision meeting with her, and she ranted that ‘the stupidity had to be stopped’. Up until this point I had kept my pro-Brexit views to myself, but I challenged her comments about trying to overturn the result. She then explicitly asked me how I voted, and because I was not prepared to lie, I told her that I supported Leave. She abruptly left the room stating that she needed to put some cold water on her face, when she returned she said that she no longer wanted to discuss the subject with me.
  • Having worked at a senior level in universities there is a strong left of centre approach across many departments and shared by vice chancellors and members of the senior management teams. For many they want to shape people’s minds rather than unleashing them, power and publicity for themselves and their institutions and to generate money. There is a difference between academic freedom to research and challenge so that students can make their own decisions and the freedom of the academic to brainwash.

Quote from Luke Springthorpe, Director of Conservative ProgressIt is concerning that institutions that shape the thinking of future generations are flagrantly disregarding any obligation to lecture a subject holistically, giving account of both sides irrespective of their own opinions. More concerning, however, is the extent to which people are actively afraid to speak out and express their opinions in open debate. This is ultimately harmful to genuine academic debate. For this reason, we believe Chris Heaton-Harris MP is well within his rights to request course content.