Universities: Religion

Department for Education written question – answered at on 31 March 2020.

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Photo of Preet Kaur Gill Preet Kaur Gill Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department provides to universities on Articles of Faith.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Minister of State (Education)

As independent and autonomous organisations, higher education providers (HEPs) have responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 in relation to the protected characteristics of their staff and students. These include in relation to religion and belief. We expect them to discharge their responsibilities fully and have robust policies and procedures in place to comply with the law.

HEPs are also responsible for meeting their legal obligations relating to free speech, and this includes expressing religious views. HEPs have a duty to take reasonably practicable steps to secure freedom of speech within the law for members, students and employees of the establishment and for visiting speakers.

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