Freedom on Campus

Two recent articles in the Australian have caught my eye.

First on Saturday:

Education Minister Dan Tehan has accused leading universities of “failing Australia” by refusing to champion free speech on ­campus, warning that they risk ­inflicting major damage on the next generation who will determine the nation’s future.

Then today:

Universities will lose reputation and talented students if they fail to defend free speech against an activist campus culture bent on shutting down debate, warns research­er Matthew Lesh.

Yes. Well. Maybe. Okay. Hard to get excited.

So there are several reforms that need to be implemented at Australian universities. I would start by having university councils elected by alumni and donors only. But that isn’t what the current government – or any other government – has in mind.

I am less sympathetic to Dan Tehan on this issue. Yes; what has been happening, largely at the University of Sydney, is  disgraceful. Quite rightly Senator Amanda Stoker asked TEQSA what, if anything, they are doing about it.

But here is the thing: the single largest outrage over the last few years was a government agency – the so-called Australian Human Rights Commission – persecuting four students at QUT.  As far as I’m aware the so-called Australian Human Rights Commission was never once told to cease and desist, or threatened with defunding, nor even publicly rebuked.

Then there is the ongoing outrage that is compulsory student unionism.  It is all very well the education minister carrying on about left-wing activists at Australian universities, yet why then insist that non-activist students finance the very behaviour the minister denounces?

If the minister is really concerned about what is happening at Australian universities, as opposed to virtue signalling, there is some really low-hanging fruit that can be picked.  Bottom line – why is it that Senator Stoker – a back bencher – has had to do the hard work here and not the minister himself?

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24 Responses to Freedom on Campus

  1. Tombell

    Let’s be honest. Scomo’s government is Turnbull-lite. Stoker is not. That she puts this so called conservative government to shame is no surprise.

  2. stackja

    The left seem to control universities. So what purpose do universities serve today?

  3. wal1957

    Bottom line – why is it that Senator Stoker – a back bencher – has had to do the hard work here and not the minister himself?

    Simples really. Gutless bastards. Nobody is game to put their toe in the water, so they don’t even try.

    Free speech is a right that I cherish. Our higher education facilities have been infiltrated from top to bottom with SJWs. If you disagree with anything that they say then you are labelled as…racist, homophobe, islamaphobe, etc….OR, as in the case of Peter Ridd, you are fired from your job simply because he questioned the validity of the peer reviewed science.

    On another note, I thought compulsory unionism was illegal in Australia now? Anyone know?

  4. A Lurker

    Taypayer funding should be reduced or denied to any Australian university that doesn’t promote freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression.

  5. John Brumble

    If you want to get rid of Compulsory Student Unionism (CSU), then you will also have to get rid of that ridiculous “facilities” (or similar) fee that universities charge where the student is able to opt out of CSU.

    User pays for what they do use, not for what they might use.

  6. Lee

    Taypayer funding should be reduced or denied to any Australian university that doesn’t promote freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of expression.

    Absolutely.
    And let the University and activist students howl and scream!
    Students should have no say in the curriculum, or what is taught.

  7. Old School Conservative

    So what purpose do universities serve today?

    Money making, visa granting, and low quality education.

  8. Rob MW

    But here is the thing: the single largest outrage over the last few years was a government agency – the so-called Australian Human Rights Commission – persecuting four students at QUT. As far as I’m aware the so-called Australian Human Rights Commission was never once told to cease and desist, or threatened with defunding, nor even publicly rebuked.

    Well said Sinc. Right there is the nub of the matter by providing all the diversified victimhood necessary to shut down any person with an opposing view. This law is nothing more than camouflage to remove rights held in speech, association and right of way.

  9. Beachcomber

    There is a very simple solution to the problem with universities. DE-FUND THEM.

    No more taxpayers money to these Marxist indoctrination centres. They serve no other purpose. Medical, engineering, and law schools can be run by the professional bodies. University level indoctrination is not needed for anything else.

  10. Tintarella di Luna

    Excellent post Professor The young, feisty and fearless Senator Stoker puts her cravem colleagues to shame yet they have no shame

  11. NuThink

    the so-called Australian Human Rights Commission – persecuting four students at QUT.

    Better to leave the C and M out of Commission and rename it appropriately the Human Rights Omission.
    It behaves like Human Rights Communism.

  12. NuThink

    As far as I’m aware the so-called Australian Human Rights Commission was never once told to cease and desist, or threatened with defunding, nor even publicly rebuked.

    Sinc, I did see a small article (it was not prominent) after the debacle of the QUT and also some persons in remote West Australia being pursued to claim human rights abuses or something by the HRC, that the government did give them, the HRC, a small and gentle whisper in the ear to refrain from touting for business.

  13. Adam D

    Lol – the answer nearly always is defund, defund, defund

  14. CameronH

    The LNP are typical seat warmers. They see their role as keeping the government seats warm while doing absolutely nothing to wind back the far left agenda of the ALP/Greens. They just hold everything in place waiting for the next radical push when the ALP/Greens get re elected.

  15. JohnL

    Lol – the answer nearly always is defund, defund, defund

    That is right – follow the money, stupid.
    Que Bono?

  16. J.H.

    Damn!… I thought compulsory union fees had been abolished during the Howard years…. But Universities still have it?

    Well that certainly has to change.

  17. Entropy

    Re senator stoker: there are about 15 LNP members who are backbenchers. The rest of the trough feeders are some kind of minister of assistance minister. Who do you have to piss off to be only a backbencher, at least once past the first year in office?

  18. Entropy

    Actually it’s about 40 or so. Forgot to count the senate.
    There are 61 Ministers or assistant ministers.

  19. Neenee

    Medical, engineering, and law schools can be run by the professional bodies. University level indoctrination is not needed for anything else.

    Add: Revert to Teachers Colleges, and Nursing Schools attached to hospitals. The decline in university standards seems to correlate with their transfers to the universities, and certainly has done nothing to improve the standard of teachers or nurses.

  20. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Medical, engineering, and law schools can be run by the professional bodies. University level indoctrination is not needed for anything else.

    I agree on the condition that they are not monopolies.

  21. Chris M

    Senator Amanda Stoker

    I like the sound of her name and the work she is doing.

  22. nfw

    Hundreds of years ago, okay 1975 or ’76, we at UNSW voted overwhelmingly to abolish the Student Council. The “progressives” were very upset and had it reinstated a few years later I think under Labor, of course. However it was a wonderful time to luxuriate in the knowledge that low knowledge, hang-on we were at uni and I did (real) Arts, could defeat the “progressives” aka communists.

  23. nfw

    While Entropy might be right or not on the numbers he (she/it?) realises it has nothing to do with “work” but should see it as simply a means of handing out pay and superannuation contribution rises and entitlements to the dross backbenchers to keep them in line and hide it from the taxpayers. Better pretending to do something than actually work in their electorates where the demos live. It’s also about egos so that our irrelevant-on-the-world-stage politicians can call themselves by a grand title on o/s jaunts. Have you ever noticed how all Americans have to have a title, even years after being an ambassador or being called “professor” when he/she/it is really just a tutor or lecturer? Same thing.

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