Campus bosses have said universities should crack down on ‘hate incidents’ including those that are “unintentional”.
The report from Universities UK wants action to be taken even where no law has been broken.
This includes so-called ‘micro-aggression’ incidents; described as “indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination”.
The report says that such incidents should be dealt with at a senior level, even if no law has been broken and the person did not mean to cause offence.
Guidance released in February said universities have a legal duty to uphold free speech.
The guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) states that everybody has a right to express their views, even if they “offend, shock or disturb” others.
Earlier this year, The Daily Telegraph said that police time and resources are being wasted because perfectly lawful statements are now considered ‘hate crimes’.
The paper believes hate crime laws are routinely “being used to shut down perfectly legitimate opinion”.
Ciarán Kelly, Deputy Director of The Christian Institute, commented that many so-called hate-crimes, in reality, “may be neither ‘hateful’ nor ‘a crime’”.