Universities Australia provided a submission and appeared at the Senate Standing Committee on Education, Employment and Workplace Relations' Inquiry into Academic Freedom.
Universities have a special role as institutions dedicated to free, open and critical expression across the full scope of human knowledge and endeavour. Central to this role is the freedom of staff and students to teach, research, debate and learn independent of external political circumstance and pressure.Universities Australia strongly defends the right of universities to employ academic staff based on academic merit and not based on particular cultural, political, or ideological views. Within disciplines, universities employ academic staff based on the knowledge they possess and the quality of their thinking, not for what they think. Similarly, Universities Australia defends the ability and obligation of universities to teach students how to think, not what to think, and wishes to express its confidence in students' powers to reach their own conclusions on matters of ideological debate.
In a free and democratic society there is no place for external interference in the intellectual endeavours of scholars.
To read the full submission, download the PDF below.