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Written by Student Rights on 7 January 2010 at 8pm

UUK to establish working group following arrest of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab

Yesterday, Universities UK, the organisation that represents the executive members of University management across the United Kingdom, announced it will be launching a 'working group' looking into the issues of Freedom of Expression and Extremism on University campuses. This follows the attempted bombing on Christmas Day and subsequent arrest of former UCL Student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

What is clear to Student Rights is that whenever and wherever extremism, incitement to violence and infringement of student's safety occurs, the speakers that perpetuate such things should be made clearly unwelcome on university campuses.

Professor Steve Smith, President of Universities UK, said “It is essential that as a society we respond rationally to the issue of extremism. Universities UK therefore is fully supportive of the measured and effective response of UCL following the arrest of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab."

Student Rights will be monitoring the situation across the UK very closely in the hope of ensuring safety for students, as well as a healthy academic debating environment.  What certainly has no place is the kind of ideological thinking that caused Umar Farouk to engage in terrorism.  British universities are establishments in which to learn, to make friends and to further one's course in life.  We should be able to be proud and safe in their walls.  Recently however, we have not been.