Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

University Governance

University Ordinances

Ordinance XLIV

Policy and Procedure on the Determination of the Application of Academic Freedom

(Effective from 27 November 2014)

This ordinance shall apply to all staff to whom paragraph 3 of Statute XXI refers[1]. Provisions for all other staff shall be found in the relevant Conditions of Service.

  1. Staff, while engaged in the provision of learning, teaching or research in accordance with their terms and conditions of service, 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.
  2. When considering whether the principle of academic freedom applies, reference should be made to paragraphs 25 to 34 of the Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris on 11 November 1997.
  3. In situations where there is a dispute about whether the provision set out in (1) applies to a particular member of staff, or in situations where there is a dispute about whether the provision set out in (1) applies to a particular situation, the individual concerned should write to the Director of Human Resources, setting out their reasons as to why the principle of academic freedom applies, within 14 days of the issue being raised.
  4. The Director of Human Resources shall convene an independent panel consisting of two members of the Academic Leadership Team, at least one of whom shall be an academic (ensuring the appropriate level of authority). Members of the independent panel shall not have had any previous involvement with the case.
  5. The independent panel shall receive the statement from the individual and where appropriate a statement from the individual’s Dean. The panel has the authority to conduct a full investigation to establish the facts of the case.
  6. The panel will reach a view on whether the principle of academic freedom applies to the individual or the situation and their decision shall be final.


[1] Staff where a substantial proportion of their duties involve the provision of teaching, learning or research.