The class of 2022: Universities graded for academic freedom

Dr Michael Johnston
Dr James Kierstead
The Platform
7 September, 2022

The Free Speech Union recently published a report grading each of New Zealand’s eight universities on its record of upholding academic freedom. But why should anyone outside universities care? And what is academic freedom anyway?

The Education and Training Act (2020) defines academic freedom as “the freedom of academic staff and students, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas, and to state controversial and unpopular opinions." So academic freedom is a broad concept, protecting the intellectual activities of academics and students alike.

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