A few readers may still have distant glimmers of a memory of Chris Heaton-Harris, the Conservative MP who tried to force universities to reveal which nasty academics were poisoning the minds of young and impressionable students with the idea that Brexit might not all be jam and prosecco (see subtext 167). While we are still waiting for an answer from our own VC as to what exactly he told Heaton-Harris, the New European reports that Worcester VC David Green was more or less vindicated in his decision to tell Heaton-Harris where to go. A ruling by the information commissioner on a different Freedom of Information request which sought to see all his emails containing the word ‘Brexit’ was firmly in favour of the University’s right to keep its correspondence private in this case.
This may lead to some mixed feelings among advocates of transparency who are also worried about Brexit alongside the UK Government’s increasing surveillance of and interference in university activities (for instance, the draconian new monitoring rules for PhD students on Tier 4 visas). Knowledge wants to be free… but also free from too much interference by governments!