Statement of Principles on Academic Freedom

It is the intention of EM Normandie UK Limited to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. 

‘Universities play an important role in society as places of debate and discussion where ideas can be tested without fear of control, where students learn to challenge ideas and think for themselves, and where rationality underpins the pursuit of knowledge.’ (Universities UK 2011) 

The Education Reform Act 1988 requires (pre-1992) universities to ensure

‘that academic staff have freedom within the law to question and test received wisdom, and to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions, without placing themselves in jeopardy of losing their jobs or privileges they may have at their institutions’.

All students, teachers and other staff of EM Normandie UK Limited, including any persons employed from time to time to address students, teachers or other members of staff, have freedom within the law to

  • hold and express opinions,
  • question and test established ideas or received wisdom,
  • develop and advance new ideas or innovative proposals, 
  • present controversial or unpopular points of view. 

In the exercise of this freedom, we acknowledge, in line with our mission statement, that as an organisation, we have responsibilities to each other and to the wider society to

  • value diversity and recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture and that these differences are important and beneficial, 
  • always treat others with courtesy and respect, challenge inequalities and anticipate and respond positively to each other’s different needs and circumstances,
  • respect the rights of individuals to hold different beliefs and views and to express them through appropriate contribution to discussion and academic debate,
  • communicate in ways that are clear, relevant, respectful, accurate, timely and exemplified by transparency and constructive dialogue. 

This means

  • we will be academically rigorous, justify our views with evidence and academic argument, be willing to recognise the gaps and weaknesses in our own arguments, 
  • we will make every reasonable effort to minimise the risks of any harm, either physical or psychological, to any person, institution or community in promoting our ideas, 
  • any academic opinions and arguments must respect the principles outlined in our ‘Statement on Freedom of Speech’. We will be aware that some academic opinions and arguments may cause offence to some people but that this is not, of itself, a sufficient reason not to express those opinions and arguments. We will, nevertheless, be sensitive to the views of others and we will not present or challenge views in a way that is hostile, disrespectful or degrading,
  • we respect the right of others to challenge our views, provided that it is based on accurate evidence, facts or reasonable argument and that it is thoughtful and made in the appropriate form,
  • we will always be careful to distinguish between our personal views and those of the EM Normandie UK Limited or any other person, group of people or organisation with which we may interact or be associated,
  • we will consider the legal implications of our actions. We recognise that there may be consequences if we act in breach of the law and will only involve others with their express consent, 
  • we will reflect upon and apply these principles in our teaching, research, study and debate, 
  • we will be proactive in protecting academic freedom for ourselves and for others and use it responsibly for the promotion of knowledge and understanding.