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New legal duties on universities to address risks of radicalisation came into force on 18th September, after the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act received Royal Assent in February 2015.

The legislation, which aims to combat the underlying ideologies which support and sanction terrorism, has placed new statutory obligations on a range of authorities and institutions – including universities across the UK. The debate on how to roll out and implement the government’s guidelines to prevent students from being drawn into terrorism within universities has been fraught with controversy and delays.

How can universities implement their new obligations while maintaining their traditions of academic freedom? How will students be encouraged to explore new ideas and express their developing beliefs if these could be open to misinterpretation or monitoring? How will university staff – from lecturers to senior managers to IT staff – need to work together to implement their new duties? 

A one-day conference on 27th October hosted by the School of Advanced Study (at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies) explores both the ideas underpinning the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act, the debates surrounding academic freedom and freedom of expression, and the practical questions which universities will need to address in the light of their duty to prevent radicalisation.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Rt. Hon. Dr Vince Cable, former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (keynote address)
  • Professor Anthony Glees, professor of politics and director of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies, University of Buckingham
  • Dr Nadya Ali, Teaching Fellow in International Relations & Politics, University of Reading and  co-convenor of the British International Studies Association (BISA) Critical Studies on Terrorism working group (CST)
  • Professor Ian Cram, professor of comparative constitutional law, University of Leeds, and author of Terror and the War on Dissent – Freedom of Expression in the Age of Al-Qaeda
  • Dr Rizwaan Sabir, Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University Liverpool and specialist in UK counterterrorism, counterinsurgency, political Islam and terrorism
  • Dr Eric Metcalfe, barrister at Monckton Chambers, general editor of Sweet & Maxwell’s Human Rights Law Reports and former director of human rights policy at JUSTICE

Places are FREE (including lunch and refreshments) but you will need to register here.

Further resources on Prevent

Resources on developing procedures and policies are available from Jisc, Universities UK, the Education and Training Foundation, OFSTED and others. Jisc is offering on-line Workshops to Raise Awareness of Prevent.