In the UK, you have a right to freedom of expression under the Human Rights Act 1998. This means that you can hold and express beliefs personally and publicly. You also have the freedom to assemble as a group and to associate with others who hold similar beliefs. Section 43 of the Education Act 1986 provides that lawful free speech should not be prevented or inhibited on University campuses so far as is reasonably practical. As a member of the Office for Students, Newcastle University must also follow the Regulatory framework for higher education in England.
However, there is also key legislation that limits freedom of expression where it infringes upon another person’s rights. For example, it is illegal to speak in a way intends to stir up racial or religious hatred (Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006), or ways that stir up and incite hatred directed at people based on their sexual orientation (Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008).
Students at Newcastle University must also adhere to the standards of behaviour outlined in the Student Charter. This means that students must treat fellow students, University colleagues, neighbours and other people in the community with courtesy, respect, and fairness.
Newcastle University has a Code of Practice for Freedom of Speech which outlines our duties as a Higher Education Provider, as well as your rights and duties as a member of the University community.