Maria Grasso - Sp!ked: Beware the ‘Campus Stasi’ at British universities
By urging academics to spy on their students, to counter what still remains a fairly minor threat of violent radicalism, government departments, university authorities and commentators are damaging, in the here and now, academic culture. They are encouraging lecturers to be suspicious of students, which will lead students to be wary of lecturers: this will undercut the relationships of trust that allow rigorous and honest debate to flourish on campus. Yet again, we can see that the real problem lies with the ‘war on terror’. Radical Islamists may have made speeches and distributed leaflets at various universities, but they are not powerful enough to undermine the traditional university system of sharing and deepening knowledge. Instead, it is the authorities’ own exaggerated fears and concerns that might end up doing that.