University students now reluctant to share views in the classroom

Dr Michael Johnston
Dr James Kierstead
NZ Herald
3 November, 2022

The debate over free speech at universities continues to rage across the English-speaking world, including in this country. But what does the data show?

Earlier this year, the New Zealand Free Speech Union surveyed academics at New Zealand universities. Over a third felt more constrained than free to discuss five of the eight topics mentioned.

Together with our colleagues Jamin Halberstadt, Arindam Basu, Barry Hughes, Ruth Hughes and David Rozado, we recently surveyed undergraduates about how free they felt to have their say in university classrooms in this country. The resulting study, which was sponsored by Heterodox Academy (an international consortium of academics advocating for open inquiry) has just appeared in the peer-reviewed journal Social Sciences.  

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