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 April 2018.
Traffic-light ranking system:
has banned and actively censored ideas on campus
has chilled free speech through intervention
has a hands-off approach to free speech
The University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh University Students' Association collectively create a hostile environment for free speech. The university, which has moved to an Amber ranking, places restrictions on 'inappropriate speech’, urges students to use transgender pronouns and has cancelled a speaking event. The students' union, which has maintained its Red ranking, has banned the Sun and offensive fancy dress, among other restrictions. The institution’s overall ranking remains Red.
The university - AMBER
Dignity and Respect Policy
Definition of misconduct includes ‘inappropriate remarks or behaviour’.
Trans Equality Policy
‘Think of the person as being the gender that they want you to think of them as. Use the name and pronoun that the person asks you to. If you are not sure what the right pronoun is, then simply ask. If you make a mistake with pronouns, correct yourself and move on.’
Social Media Handbook
‘To ensure that social media spaces feel safe and productive for discussion it is important to remain respectful to others, aiming to make your contributions constructive and positive. Think through what you want to say, and don’t make postings when you are particularly angry or upset.’
Due to the specific nature of this policy, it has been weighted as an Amber Action.
22 October 2015
Cancels Tommy Robinson talk
The students’ union - RED
Safe Space Policy
‘All members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which is respectful and considerate of the contributions of others. This is defined as... allowing council members to speak when called upon by the chair... refraining from speaking over, interrupting, heckling, laughing at or otherwise distracting from the speaker who holds the floor... Where appropriate, using content warnings to highlight – in advance – discussion of sensitive topics. This would generally take the form of “I am about to mention [insert subject here]” and should be followed by a pause to allow members to remove themselves from the meeting if they wish.’
Boycotts and Affiliations
‘As a result of a 2012 referendum question, EUSA's trading committee removed the Sun from its outlets until they cease to publish Page 3 girls.’
Due to the specific nature of this restriction, this has been weighted as a Red Action.