It is declared to be the intention of Parliament in enacting the provisions of this Act relating to institutions that academic freedom and the autonomy of institutions are to be preserved and enhanced.
For the purposes of this section, academic freedom, in relation to an institution, means—
the freedom of academic staff and students, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions:
the freedom of academic staff and students to engage in research:
the freedom of the institution and its staff to regulate the subject matter of courses taught at the institution:
the freedom of the institution and its staff to teach and assess students in the manner they consider best promotes learning:
the freedom of the institution through its chief executive to appoint its own staff.
In exercising their academic freedom and autonomy, institutions shall act in a manner that is consistent with—
the need for the maintenance by institutions of the highest ethical standards and the need to permit public scrutiny to ensure the maintenance of those standards; and
the need for accountability by institutions and the proper use by institutions of resources allocated to them.
In the performance of their functions the Councils and chief executives of institutions, Ministers, and authorities and agencies of the Crown shall act in all respects so as to give effect to the intention of Parliament as expressed in this section.
Section 161: inserted, on 23 July 1990, by section 36 of the Education Amendment Act 1990 (1990 No 60).