Academic Freedom Is Precious In UK Universities:-

UK Universities

Political activities of Councils of universities:-

In February 1970, the students of Warwick University, who occupied the registry at that time, found dozens of incriminating documents from the office of University. The governing council was dominating the University at that time, on the orders of business interests. It was keeping an eye on the Professors and students to use the information for political purposes. One of the most distinguished Historians, Professor David Montgomery, was targeted for surveillance when he was a visiting professor at Warwick University. He protested against the political activities which were on the peak in university. Moreover, he addressed the Coventry Labour Party of the University. The Security Officer of Rootes Motors, who was one of the university’s biggest backers, attended this meeting and reported all the issues to the university authorities. 

A biased behavior to the lecturers:-

Mr. Montgomery revealed that the university employers faced a particular biased behaviour in the whole career and exposed students to the most undesired indoctrination. Such disclosures caused a nationwide storm in the UK; the students across the country held sit-ins on the roads within very few days. They demanded that authorities should diminish personal files attacking on lecturers and students. A book was also published by a history Professor, Mr. EP Thompson. He said that Warwick University had forged a subordinate relation with business capitalism to work for political appreciations.          

Sponsorship of universities:-

In those old times, all the universities were funded by the money collected from students regarding academic fees, but Warwick University adopted a more entrepreneurial approach. Most of the Professors were sponsored by big company owners such as Barclays Banks, Pressed Steel. About 15% of Warwick’s income was generated from private sources. While overseas students were heavily charged at that time. But now the time has changed, every university’s operation has become a business, making it a globalized marketplace. Governing bodies have remodeled the mode of funding following corporate lines. Moreover, many funding agencies are also providing funds along with the demand for quality of education in the country. Even different online sources like cheap essay help are playing an important role in assisting students in their academic progress.

Interests of finance markets:-

The former Vice-Chancellor of Southampton Solent University, Mr. Roger Brown, stated that the markets show more interest in higher education than school-level studies. Hence, the funding for higher education is more elevated, obviously. Therefore, schools face more financial challenges in order to maintain the quality and facilities provided to the students. The extent of British industry involvement is more promoted with universities than the UK state regulations. However, the influence of foreign industries and states is a different thing to debate.

Special funding by other states:-

The conventional academic processes have been compromised in recent years, for the protection of university income. For example, in 2014, the Saudi Arabian government sponsored the students of the University of Bedfordshire, the students were supported to take exams three times as repetition. But the university was accused of bending its laws for this support. Hence the government of the UK diminished this support of students. Then the UK government implemented a rule to all universities that if some foreign source is funding special grants to students where it compromises on the quality of education, the student has to get it lost and find another source of sponsorship. 

Chinese funding to universities:-

At present times, China has become a single significant source of income for many universities in the UK. Now the situation has changed dramatically. If China stops its aid, the universities may face a spell financial disaster, and the number of universities is at least twelve, which may affect by this disaster. China is now an authoritarian state which controls its leading industries along with the behaviors of its citizens. While the technology war between China and the UK is impacting adverse effects on financial aids to the universities across the UK. 

On the other hand, China is making progress in research fields, particularly in the sciences. The universities of the UK are compelled to make a collaboration with forefront technologies and custom demands of China in order to make progress in international fields. Unfortunately, China does not follow general market rules, so the British universities still try to cling the customs and regulations organized by its government.

Educational relationships with China:-

The British universities are operating its campuses in China as well, like Liverpool and Nottingham both have registered campuses in China. The relationship between the UK and China education systems does not stop here. The former Chinese Prime Minister gives a charity of 3.7 million euros to the Cambridge professorship in developmental studies in Chong Hua. Many other institutes like Jesus College, Cambridge are accepting funds from Chinese sources for UK-China Global Issues Dialogue Centre. 

Role of China in research laboratories of UK:-

Almost ten university laboratories of the UK depend on Chinese investment to carry out research works. The Defence firms of China are aiding these laboratories. China is the third most crucial research partner of the UK, in 2018, the UK published 14,763 papers which were co-authored with Chinese researchers. Some papers were financed by Chinese company Huawei, which is trying to introduce a 5G network in the UK. In the past decade, almost 500 Chinese military scientists carried out research in British universities on different types of defense technologies like missiles, supercomputers, and aircraft technology. While GCHQ has warned the authorities that China is trying to steal personal data, research data, and intellectual property of the UK, showing that they contribute to both countries’ progress.    

Danger to UK universities:-

The thinktanks and MPs warned the UK government to secure its information about UK universities’ links to China. As academic freedom is a very delicate matter, and it is precious for the security of a country. Every university should be allowed to lead its own rules and deprived of illiberal industrialists. Some necessary steps should be taken in order to provide freedom to our prestigious universities. If relations between China and the UK worsen at some time, the top most universities in the UK will face anxiety in the shape of a boycott by China. It will affect the whole higher education system, as already affected in Taiwan and Australia.  

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