Education Minister to introduce laws protecting free speech at universities

Minister of Education, Przemysław Czarnek, has announced that he will introduce legislative changes to guarantee "freedom of science" at universities, which, according to the minister, does not exist today.

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Speaking at the 6th Congress of Gazeta Polska Clubs, the minister stated “the direction of where things are going, especially in the humanities and social sciences, has up to now not gone in the way that we would like.

Minister Czarnek continued by stating “there is a part in the current legislation on higher education that deals with the disciplinary responsibility of teachers and how their work is evaluated. We are analysing and preparing amendments to that law, which will make up a “freedom package”.

The minister underlined that the package will protect academic teachers with conservative, Christian and nationalist views from disciplinary measures, and even the need to explain themselves in front of university bodies.

Minister Czarnek told the participants that it’s clearly visible that academic freedom does not exist today in institutes of higher learning

He added “the way things have developed, especially in the humanities or social sciences, goes against where we would like things to go and now it’s time for us to start rolling it back.

The new laws are expected to unleash a heated debate in Parliament as the opposition has earlier criticised the newly appointed Education Minister for what they describe to be an ideological assault on higher education.

Representatives of left-wing and centrist parties have been particularly opposed to the minister’s earlier statements on Gender Studies, which he has said must not be taught at universities anymore as “it is an ideology and not a science”.