The British International Studies Association reaffirms the importance of academic freedom for the work of its members and for academics and teachers in UK universities.
The letter sent by Chris Heaton-Harris MP (read text of letter here) to UK university vice chancellors, and especially its request to name academics involved in teaching European affairs, is unclear in its motive or in the use to which the requested material was to be put.
The protection of the free speech and academic independence of our members within UK universities is enshrined in law. Academic learned societies, like BISA, promote the free exchange of ideas to further knowledge and understanding. Academics can only contribute to the understanding of complex and controversial issues, to the benefit of government and society, if their freedoms to research, teach and engage the public are preserved.