At the beginning of this month, Universities in the UK were asked by Chris Heaton-Harris, a Tory MP, to share their syllabuses and any online material used regarding Brexit.
Most Universities were appalled by the move, putting a limit to their academic freedom.
He defended himself on Twitter by saying that he believes in freedom of speech and that he believes Brexit should be discussed vigorously.
Jo Johnson defended him by stating that Heaton-Harris was only doing research about European politics.
No one accepted this excuse.
Is it right that in 2017 our freedom of speech is controlled?
Brexit is part of our daily lives, it affects each one of us, one way or another.
Especially in a country that is so multicultural, students in Universities come from different backgrounds.
Brexit is not something we can dance around.
Are we supposed to limit the way we talk about it?
To limit the amount of time we talk about it?
Or should we altogether turn our heads the other way and pretend that it shouldn’t bother us?
University is the place where students can finally develop critical thinking, we have to do individual study and it’s important to stimulate conversations around these important topics in class.
Especially in any degree that deals with issues about current politics, identities and diplomacy.
Brexit is not a topic we will be comfortable with any time soon, regardless of what we voted for.
Whether it was meant as research or not, the letter shouldn’t have been sent.
Politics shouldn’t influence our educational systems. Just like Religion shouldn’t.
Thinking about Heaton-Harris I couldn’t stop thinking about Turkey wanting to stop evolution being taught in schools
Obviously, it’s not the same, since Brexit is not actually being banned as a topic. We all have our opinion on the different political parties and how they influence our thinking and the news we read, but Britain is a country where freedom of speech is valued, where cultures meet and great minds are free to share their opinions without facing atrocious consequences.
Although the contexts differ, the impact both problems had in the respective countries is similar.
In my opinion, education shouldn’t be influenced and shouldn’t have barriers.
The point of it is to lead us to our own answers, giving us nothing but the means to analyse, study and criticise the world around us.