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NUS calls for Prevent to be scrapped following report on countering extremism

Thursday 25 August 2016

The National Union of Students (NUS) is today welcoming the Home Affairs Select Committee report on countering extremism, and calling for the discredited Prevent programme to be scrapped.

The report was published today (August 25) and reveals the communities most affected by extremism are most likely to regard the Prevent brand as toxic. NUS has repeatedly spoken out against the Prevent agenda and produced guidance for students and students’ unions. We believe an urgent review of the programme is long overdue and it should ultimately be scrapped from educational institutions.

NUS welcomes the committee’s report clear call for a review of the training given to educational professionals, the value of the statutory duty on educational institutions, and the number of institutions subject to the duty.

NUS gave oral evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee to emphasise the discriminatory element of Prevent, and to outline the work we and students’ unions do to build cohesion between different faith groups and protect our members from abuse, hate speech and extremism.

Shelly Asquith, NUS vice president (welfare), said:

“For NUS, keeping students safe is paramount and we are glad the legitimate concerns students been raising have been heard by the committee. No student should have their freedoms curtailed by a racist, reactionary agenda and everyone deserves to feel safe both on and off campus.

“The Prevent duty is proving counterproductive by alienating certain communities and has the potential to create discrimination based on their ethnicity, faith or culture. Black and Muslim students are subjected to racial profiling and state-sponsored islamophobia, which has no place in our universities and colleges.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. For more information please contact the NUS Press Office on 07866 695010 or pressoffice@nus.org.uk.