Advance HE has announced its collaboration with GoodCourse, a London-based Edtech startup, to create a novel style of micro-courses to support student understanding about the vital importance and principles of freedom of speech and academic freedom on campus, creating learning and working environments which concurrently protect and promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
This work is particularly significant in the context of the requirements the impending Higher Education Freedom of Speech Bill going through UK Parliament, and sector efforts to promote respect for freedom of speech and fostering positive relations between different groups on campus.
GoodCourse have partnered with Advance HE to co-create micro-learning course to support students on how to engage in discussions with their peers and faculty members - in a sensitive and tolerant manner.
Courses are designed to mirror social media apps and formats popular with students of today — one which encompasses short, accessible videos to capture the attention of a new generation. The courses will be available to students studying in universities across the UK, who will be able to enrol by simply scanning a QR code, and access courses delivered seamlessly straight to their mobile devices.
David Bass Advance HE Director of EDI (interim), says, “Freedom of speech is a core value in higher education. Universities have a long track record of championing free speech, rigorous debate and academic freedom.
“This commitment has come under greater scrutiny in recent years, as the obligations protecting and upholding freedom of speech and promoting Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) – including fostering good relations between different groups on campus – can sometimes appear to compete or be in tension, when actually they complement each other.
“It is vital to foster tolerant and inclusive debate which is respectful of different views and disagreement. Through our partnership with GoodCourse, we are excited to be using their technology to reach and engage the student audience on these topics.”
Chris Mansfield, Co-founder, GoodCourse, says: “We are very pleased to partner with Advance HE. Their recent work with Universities UK and GuildHE, explored academic freedom, employment, EDI, student unions and governance, leading to a joint sector statement and commitment to promoting academic freedom and freedom of speech. Our partnership will be instrumental in bringing research-backed and effective micro-learning training on these topics to market.
“In an age where there are more things competing for attention than ever before, it’s imperative we make learning and training on these important issues as accessible and engaging as possible.”