Professor Ahmed of the University of Cambridge has been appointed to the Board of the Office for Students (the "OfS") as its new Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, a post introduced by the recent Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act 2023.
Professor Ahmed will be responsible for ensuring that providers are complying with their duties under the Act, on an active and ongoing basis. Combined with the further powers being granted to the OfS, this appointment will mean closer scrutiny and represents a significant shift in the regulatory and compliance environment for higher education providers.
In a comment piece published in today's The Times, Professor Ahmed said, "I will defend free speech within the law for all views and approaches…Free speech for just one side is not free speech at all. Free speech for all sides benefits all sides. This, not censorship, is the only real engine of both scientific discovery and social progress".
We have prepared a practical compliance guide and checklist which details what the new law requires to help providers prepare.
Please read here.