Universities must overcome ‘echo chamber’ and self-censorship, says Reading VC

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Robert Van de Noort says vice-chancellors must be bold in protecting academic freedom and promoting diversity of thought

Universities risk becoming “uniformities” of rigid ideas and self-censorship, according to the vice-chancellor of the University of Reading, who accused the government and his fellow university leaders of creating echo chambers on campus.

Robert Van de Noort told a seminar at the Houses of Parliament that vice-chancellors needed “to be more courageous themselves, and actively and explicitly promote a culture of diversity of thought” to overcome an “echo chamber” of academics amplifying identity politics and the government’s accountability measures which rewarded conformity over innovation.

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