Universities and the left: 'Students today are actually quite right-wing compared to the 1970s', says campaigner Peter Tatchell

Universities: 'Students today are actually quite right wing compared to the 1970s', says campaigner Peter Tatchell

A report claims universities are becoming increasingly left-wing (Stock image)

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Despite a new report claiming universities are driving ever leftward in their political outlook, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell believes today's students are actually far more conservative than previous generations. 

A report by the free-market think tank Adam Smith Institute claims British universities often have a strong left-wing or liberal bias among academics and under-represent conservative views.

Tatchell told Sam Delaney: ‘I would raise the point that compared to the 1970s students today are actually quite right-wing."

But he continued by expressing concern over the growing trend of universities 'no-platforming' speakers with controversial or unpopular views.

“I agree that there is a creeping trend of an inclination to restrict the opportunity of people to speak on campuses," he said. “Some restriction may be justified…the most extremist preachers [for example]."

Former minister for universities and science Nick Hillman also spoke to Sam, saying: “A lot of students are very young, they arrive at university not always having thought of free speech in detail.

“Some of them have not come across the sort of challenges and issues round safe spaces and free speech. I think they need help negotiating that.

“I don’t think universities should be imposing additional barriers [around free speech] on top [of the law of the land]."

Listen to the full audio above