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If university students self-censor out of fear, freedom of speech in wider society is doomed

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According to a survey just published by ADF International, 40 percent of students fear that their careers will be adversely affected if they speak out.

The survey confirms what previous studies have noted. Last year a report by the British think-tank Policy Exchange found that only four in 10 Brexit supporters felt able to express their views in their university class.

Once upon a time, universities were places where free and open debate dominated campus culture. Students held forth with the most outrageous views and everyone knew that they did not have to conform to received wisdom. That world has vanished in recent decades. Speech is heavily policed by zealous activists, whose censorious project is supported by campus administrators.

As soon as students arrive on campus, they learn that any sentiment that goes against the grain of woke culture will be met by the remark, “you can’t say that!” In such circumstances far too many students opt for an easy life and hide their true opinions.

The unravelling of the freedom of expression on campuses was brought home to me in February 2018. After I gave a public lecture on the subject........

© RT.com

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