On 26 July, a High Court ruling highlighted that Higher Education institutions are entitled to disregard Prevent Duty guidelines issued by the government in 2015. Although the ruling found that the guidance was lawful, it emphasised flaws in the Prevent duty which have concerned NUS since the duty was first conceived: that it is vague, “open to interpretation” and that because of this, over-zealous institutions can misinterpret the guidance with disastrous results.
Responding to the ruling, NUS Black Students Officer Ilyas Nagdee said:
“This is further evidence of that the Prevent duty guidance is open to serious misinterpretation and misapplication by HE providers. Universities and public bodies are ill equipped to be able to deal with this.
“Universities and HE providers should review and amend all policies and procedures in light of this judgement to ensure more consistency across the board. We recommend that universities and HE providers who apply the guidance in an uncritical manner re-think their visiting speaker processes. They should do this by working with students' unions and the student groups who are most affected.
“NUS will continue to stand by our policy and campaign in relation to the deeply flawed and discriminatory Prevent duty. We will continue to work with students’ unions to call for the Prevent agenda to be scrapped with our #StudentsNotSuspects campaign.”
Ilyas Nagdee is available for interview.
For further comment please contact NUS Press office firstname.lastname@example.org 07866 695 010.
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