Freedom of speech
We are proud at King’s to hold a wide range of events with internal and external speakers. These events are an important way in which ideas are freely exchanged and we believe that open and uncensored debate from all sides is one of our core purposes as a university, provided they take place without fear of intimidation and within the framework of the law.
We do, however, accept that these kind of debates will not always be comfortable for everybody and some of the issues at the heart of these events can become polarising and deeply-felt by staff and students.
King’s and KCLSU care deeply about how we manage freedom of expression at the university. As a partnership, we share a vision of King’s as an inspiring and open place to learn and are committed to working together to make sure we provide safe platforms for free, peaceful and respectful dialogue as demonstrated in our joint statement.
King’s and KCLSU Joint Statement on Freedom of Expression
“King’s College London and King’s College London Student Union have a strong commitment to the values of freedom of expression, freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and religion and freedom of assembly. The university upholds this commitment through its core strategic priorities: education, research, and service. One of our central guiding principles in the King’s Strategic Vision 2029 is to ‘demonstrate open-mindedness and tolerance and expect to challenge and be challenged in protecting the freedom of expression’. King’s expects its academic and professional services staff, its students and visitors to the university to respect and promote this guiding principle.
“The furtherance of intellectual inquiry necessarily involves ideas that are in dispute, that may cause controversy, that may cause offence and that may provoke a reaction amongst audiences in the university community and beyond. The university is committed to a safe and civil environment for the exchange of ideas and the cultivation of knowledge. Our commitment will at times see the university serve as a place in which intellectual, moral, or political disputes come to the fore. At such times, the university’s role is to ensure that all parties feel confident and safe in expressing their views except when this speech discriminates based on race, class, disability, sex, age, gender identity, transgender status, religion or sexual orientation.
“King’s College London and King’s College London Student Union make this statement conscious of the particular role that universities play in society and of the societal and public obligations that this entails. Nothing in this statement should be read as a deviation from, or contradiction to, the university’s Charter, statutes and regulations, or its obligations under the laws of the United Kingdom, including equalities legislation. The university has in place policies that enforce this statement.”
Read more in our selection of Freedom of Expression FAQs.