Campus threats to free speech – CIS breakfast event

Welcome to a re-run of the talk by the NSW Minister for Education, the Hon. Rob Stokes at the Centre for Independent Studies, followed by dialogue with CIS Executive Director Tom Switzer and a Q and A session. The topic ranged across many issues related to the future of free speech in Australian universities.

Political bias of staff and the problems of visiting conservative speakers got a mention but in his capacity as a State Minister Mr Stokes focussed on issues of structure, administration and funding.

A major funding issue is the over-dependence of the universities on overseas students to balance their budgets and the way that a very large proportion of those students come from China.

How do universities pursue their commercial objectives without compromising academic freedom? How do we deal with an increasingly assertive Chinese Government willing to flex its economic power and international muscle?

Another matter that came to the front in the Q and A is the role of the ubiquitous Confucius Centres on campus. A Canadian investigation has raised major concerns in that country and more information is required.

The Minister noted that the growth of the sector has generated very large state-funded universities (Monash has 70,000 students) he would like to see more diversity in the form of independent schools like the Campion College. He reported that the Federal shadow minister would like to see fewer and larger campuses for “more efficient administration and quality control”.

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7 Responses to Campus threats to free speech – CIS breakfast event

  1. Herodotus

    Wasn’t Rob Stokes favouring sending any and every student to those few selective schools in NSW, entirely negating their purpose? Talk about Labor lite.

  2. stackja

    Federal shadow minister would like to see fewer and larger campuses for “more efficient administration and quality control”.

    Revert to CAE before Dawkins?
    Confucius Centres and Xi personality cult?

  3. Entropy

    De-dawkinisation would be a good start

  4. Percy Popinjay

    Herodotus – Stokes is the very same spineless jellyfish that refused to censure some appalling sexist behaviour by moozleys in a south western Sydney public school.

    He’s a pathetic self serving little grub and so absolutely typical of the imbeciles now infesting the liberal party.

  5. .

    Entropy
    #2847697, posted on October 23, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    De-dawkinisation would be a good start

    Dawkins’ policy is not even demonstrably bad; why UOW ought to revert to UNSW-IT/Wollongong, or UNE to “U Syd, Armidale campus” for example is never laid out well at all.

    If it is a problem, it is certainly nearly the last one to tackle. So many other problems in these places.

  6. Colonel Crispin Berka, King's Fusiliers Corps.

    fewer and larger campuses for “more efficient administration and quality control”.

    i.e. To make it easier for the federal education establishment to pressure outliers into adopting less diversity of thought and thus achieve total harmonisation.

    A testable prediction I would make in this area is that the feds will plough more funny money into part time and mature age students’ places in adult education programmes in universities. This will leave other commercial, industry, and independent adult education providers unable to compete, drawing all such students into the “quality controlled” arena. The pace of change in the modern world means the idea of having all your learning finished in university at age 21 is now untenable. No point in setting up these indoctrination centres if they sit around unused by the mature age students (which is only 10% of degree holders at the moment, but it is a growing segment).

  7. md

    Political bias of staff and the problems of visiting conservative speakers got a mention but in his capacity as a State Minister Mr Stokes focused on issues of structure, administration and funding.

    I don’t have time to watch the video, but can I assume that he managed to steer the conversation away from:
    – the curriculum;
    – discipline;
    – bullying, violence and anti-social behaviour;
    – leftist teachers poisoning children’s minds;
    – civics being taught;
    – schools training children to enter the workforce;
    – social studies being taught so that children understand their psychological make-up and social interactions;
    – schools running summer camps so that parents have a holiday from children;
    – extending school hours so that parents don’t have to pay for child care.

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