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 Essex and the University of Essex Students' Union collectively create a hostile environment for free speech. The university, which has maintained its Red ranking, bans ‘homophobic propaganda’ and restricts transphobic speech. The students' union, which has also maintained its Red ranking, has a No Platform policy, banning racists and fascists. The institution’s overall ranking remains Red.
The university - RED
Guidelines for Dealing with Harassment and Bullying
Defines as harassment ‘using homophobic or biphobic language or displaying homophobic or biphobic materials’.
Equality and Diversity Codes of Practice
‘The use of homophobic propaganda in the form of written materials, graffiti, songs or speeches will not be tolerated. The university undertakes to remove any such propaganda from its premises and to take action against those responsible.’
The students’ union - RED
‘That’s So Gay’: Think Before You Speak!
‘To stop the misuse of LGBT language/terminology in SU venues, by anybody, working or socialising or by anybody wearing official SU uniform or SU lanyard... To ensure that the misuse of LGBT language/terminology in students’ union media, in any form, does not happen... There needs to be a clear record of all incidences reported to students’ union staff, security personnel and venue security.’
Stop the BNP
‘The BNP are No Platformed according to the constitution of the University of Essex Students’ Union.’
Safe Space Policy
‘The chair of any forum has the right to issue a ban to guarantee safe space for all members and make meetings as accessible as possible.’