'Exchange of Ideas' on Campus Essential

The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE, July 28, 2016 | Go to article overview

'Exchange of Ideas' on Campus Essential


Former education secretary Kenneth Baker on climate of censorship. Matthew Reisz writes

At the age of 81, Lord Baker of Dorking could be excused for taking things easy. But nothing seems further from his mind.

Although he was secretary of state for education and science way back in the 1980s, he has retained a deep interest in the subject, still chairs the Baker Dearing Educational Trust and, only three years ago, assembled a team to publish 14-18: A New Vision for Secondary Education.

Much of his efforts are devoted to creating a network of about 40 schools known as university technical colleges, for students aged between 14 and 19. Since each school is sponsored by a university, this gives him "regular contact with vice-chancellors, probably more than when I was a minister".

But his latest endeavour is a beautifully illustrated volume called On the Burning of Books: How Flames Fail to Destroy the Written Word (Unicorn).

He has been interested in the topic since he read John Milton's Areopagitica, which he describes as "the greatest defence of free speech and liberty of expression in the English language", at school. He has now spent several years assembling some striking examples of books going up in flames, whether through government decree, religious persecution or domestic accident.

University libraries, he points out, have often been in the firing line.

Serbian forces in 1992 deliberately targeted the records of the University of Sarajevo "because it contained too many records of Muslim ownership and Muslim establishments" in Bosnia. Universities in the Belgian city of Leuven were even more unlucky. Books were looted from one by Napoleon in 1795 and again from the Catholic University of Louvain by the Kaiser in 1914, although this was just a prelude to the artillery barrage that destroyed a million volumes in 1940.

So how does he feel about what some see as a censorious climate within today's universities?

Since "universities are essentially about exchanging ideas", he says, he disapproves of excluding any groups, "whether they are fascist or communist or sexist or whatever...When I went to open a new science lab at one university, the Socialist Workers Party turned up from the local town and I was kicked to the ground and broke my glasses. But even so, I didn't want the Socialist Workers Party banned from universities."

Lord Baker introduced "per-capita funding for universities" and "the first student loan scheme" as deliberate steps on "the pathway to fees", although "I don't think I could have got fees through even the Thatcher government in 1988". …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

'Exchange of Ideas' on Campus Essential
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.