Welcome to Britain\’s liberal universities

Where voluntary association is forbidden.

Universities should ban country-specific student societies to encourage international students to integrate, a professor has claimed.


12 thoughts on “Welcome to Britain\’s liberal universities”

  1. Where people are coming in for a 1-year Masters at a highly regarded dept (maybe with a prior EFL course) and then going home, are we really bothered whether they integrate or not?

    Even if they do, they are going to integrate in to ‘student life’, which is hardly the real UK, is it?

    More bothered about integration (and I still wouldn’t take statist measures to force it) for new permanent or long-term residents.

  2. “But he also questioned how many students actually wanted to broaden their cultural horizons and some foreign students only want the knowledge of the university and not the

  3. That is a foolish and illiberal idea. Some country-specific societies are not even affiliated to their Students’ Unions, and some have to be disaffiliated due to a lack of people wanting to sit on their committees.
    I’d have to look at the figures, but I believe it’s quite rare for international students involved in university societies to be only involved in their country-specific one, so this proposal would be entirely ineffective.

  4. So Much for Subtlety

    Well are we at the level of stupid that has American universities ban Christian groups that do not allow non-Christians to join?

    Can-t be long if we aren-t.

    The problem is that the universities are not friends of freedom and have not been since the 1960s. It is only a matter of time before their inherently totalitarian view point wins out in society as a whole. They are training the elite after all. And just as they think that the way to have more freedom of speech is by rigorous and arbitrary censorship, so too will our laws go that way in the end.

  5. This is what pisses me off about the worst aspects of the public sector. They can’t just do the job they’re paid to do (educating people). Instead, they use their jobs as a platform for their own agendas.

    The sooner that private online learning drives most of these people to the wall, the better.

  6. I remember an enjoyable evening put on by the Malaysian society at university. Lots of great food.

    They were marketing their country to the local (an other international) students. For a country bumpkin like me it was a culturally enriching experience.

  7. Being an old-fashioned Lefty, I used to attend the Soviet Society socials – five shots of vodka for a pound, subsidised by the uni or students union or both. I can’t say I remember those evenings too well but I know I got my money’s worth!

  8. The rules were, way back when, that if a student society wanted to be part of the students’ union (which got them money, subsidised use of the facilities and so on) they had to accept any SU member as a society member. That seems reasonable enough.

    Indeed the fundagelical society at my alma mater decided on these grounds to have nothing to do with the union, they only wanted true born-agains. The Catholic society, as the name might suggest, would have anyone and was thus in the SU.

    This seems quite reasonable to me – if you want to join a society, you stick to the rules. Nothing to stop the establishment of student societies outside the auspices of the SU, just that they don’t get the perks if they don’t pay the dues.

    Incidentally, the greatest fun was to be had on Cyprus day or whatever it’s called. One could sit in the rooms of the aforementioned catholic society, across from the main SU, and watch the running battles in the street below between Greeks and Turks all day long. That was before hizbut tahrir and the other fundagelical muslims came along, could be even more fun now.

  9. I quite agree that this is unacceptable but I do find my own University’s Chinese Society quite counterproductive.
    Our Chinese students come for the benefits of a UK education-one of which is to improve their spoken English. They then join the Chinese Soc and spend all their spare time speaking Mandarin or Cantonese. I don’t blame them but I do strongly urge all the ones I talk to not to join, or at least not to let their social life revolve around it.

    It’s the fear of the new and the search for comfort and reassurance, innit.

  10. “a foolish and illiberal idea” at a UK university? Gazooks!

    Once this critical problem has been solved, they can then move onto the much less serious problem of Muslim radicalisation of their students.

  11. “The problem is that the universities are not friends of freedom and have not been since the 1960s.”
    Why only go back that far?
    Universities have never been the friends of freedom. They exist to control knowledge, not make it freely available. Even the guilds had the decency to teach anyone with the nouse to learn & didn’t generally charge them for the privilege apart from the use of their labour whilst they were learning.
    Universities have always been about the restriction & sale of knowledge. The creation of a closed shop for the learned. That’s the other hand of a degree, isn’t it? It’s not only a proof of knowledge but knowledge can only be proved by a degree. Its latest iterations resulting in it being almost impossible to get a decent job without one.
    When did a university acadamemic ever ask people what freedoms they wanted before telling them what freedoms they should have?
    Bomb them, bulldoze the rubble, sew the ground with high level nuclear waste from their own research reactors. Shoot one in ten graduates as an example to deter repeating the folly.
    That’d be a start.

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