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Profile

The Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) is the UK’s first university league table for campus censorship. We examine the policies and actions of universities and students' unions, and rank them using our traffic-light system.

Data accurate up until February 2018.

Traffic-light ranking system:

  • RED:

    has banned and actively censored ideas on campus

  • AMBER:

    has chilled free speech through intervention

  • GREEN:

    has a hands-off approach to free speech

Traffic-light ranking
system More

To find out more about the FSUR, or to request further comment, contact Tom Slater.

Birkbeck 2018

Red

Birkbeck University and Birkbeck Students’ Union collectively create a hostile environment for free speech. The university, which has maintained its Amber ranking, warns students not to cause ‘needless offence’. The students’ union, which has maintained its Red ranking, holds a No Platform policy, banning racists and fascists. The institution’s overall ranking remains Red.

The university - AMBER

Policies

  • Birkbeck Principles of Dignity at Work and Study

    Definition of harassment includes ‘remarks, gossip or jokes about an individual’.

    Read the full policy

  • Birkbeck Computing Regulations

    'You must not cause needless offence.’

    Due to the specific nature of this policy, it has been weighted as an Amber Action.

    Read the full policy

The students’ union - RED

Policies

  • External Speakers Protocol

    ‘An event will be considered “high risk” where the speaker’s profile, predictable behaviour, or the contents of their materials is likely to elicit a negative/distressed response from the membership, Birkbeck College or the general public.’

    Read the full policy

  • Union Procedures and Societies Handbook

    ‘Any speaker who is likely to be offensive, controversial or cause alarm must be disclosed with full details to the SU manager and trustee responsible for clubs and societies portfolio at the time of requesting a room booking; and the students’ union retains the right to withdraw an invitation to attend any event at any time that has been extended to an external person – whether they are speaking or not... The external person must not be subject to any sanctions of the UK government or “no platform” policy of the SU council.’

    Read the full policy

To find out more about the FSUR, or to request further comment, contact Tom Slater.

Birkbeck progression

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018