A Labour peer and university boss has said her institution is “decolonising” its curriculum, that student should skip educational events that offend them, and that counter-terror laws silence Muslim and black students.
Adopting the language of her hard-left students, Baroness Amos, who is Director of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), said young people should avoid controversial debates that could be “painful or difficult experiences.”
Speaking at a conference about tackling sexual harassment on campus, she also said SOAS had established a working group on “decolonisation” – which means reducing the prominence of Western history and thought and the number of white writers.
“We have a decolonisation working group. We are looking at how to decolonise knowledge and in particular, decolonise our literature and pedagogy,” the baroness said, according to The Times.
“Given that we are specialists in certain regions of the world – Asia, Africa, the Middle East – and looking at the perspective of those regions, it should be easier for us,” she added.
Similarly, Oxford University has made examinations on non-British and non-European history compulsory, and the National Union of Students (NUS) back a campaign called ‘Why is my curriculum white?’
— SOAS Uni of London (@SOAS) January 25, 2018
Confusingly, the Labour peer also argued that universities must create “safe spaces”, where some views are banned, as part of the their “responsibility towards free speech,” the Telegraph reports.
She said: “We need to support difficult and robust debate about difficult and complex issues. But we also have to respect the right of students not to attend if they so wish [and] to attend and engage in the vast debate if they so wish.
“We need to ensure that we create the space for students to be able to disagree and question.”
She also argued that black and Muslim students were being silenced by the government’s counter-terror Prevent program, now that university workers are compelled to report students suspected of extremism and terror to authorities.
“You see the chilling effect for example of Prevent duty – where students are operating in an environment where they feel under intense scrutiny, if they are Muslim or if they are from a black or ethnic community,” she claimed.