Friday 12 July 2019

Theos Report on Faith and Belief in Universities

A new report from Theos has just been published:

Here are some paragraphs from the Theos website:

‘Universities are a symbolic battleground in today’s debates about our shared values. They are accused on the one hand of restricting freedom of speech, and on the other of being hotbeds of extremism. Polling conducted by YouGov for Theos in January 2019 found that over half (52%) of British adults think freedom of speech is under threat in UK universities, and a sizable minority (29%) think “Islamic extremism” is common in them. As the places where our future leaders develop their values, how universities accommodate debate and diversity is a critically important issue for the health of our society.

‘This report considers these difficult matters through the eyes of students who attend faith and belief societies on campus. It finds that tensions and controversies over religion or belief issues do sometimes arise on campus, but these are exceptions to the norm of peaceful campus relations between different groups.

‘Faith and belief societies play hugely important roles on campus in building community, supporting students pastorally and spiritually, and driving social action. However, they often face challenges which limit the contribution they can make to campus life, including their capacity to build bridges across different groups. While they are strong sources of “bonding social capital”, building bonds among their own members, they are less effective at being sources of “bridging social capital” between groups. They need better resources and support from universities and students’ unions in order to meet their potential of being key sources of cohesion on campus.’

A summary of the report and its recommendations can be found here.

A pdf of the full report is available here.

1 comment:

stevebishop said...

Thanks for the heads up on this.