A Policy Exchange report on academic freedom co-authored by Tom Simpson, Associate Professor or Philosophy and Public Policy, is widely cited in a UK government policy paper.
The policy paper Higher education: free speech and academic freedom by the Department for Education sets out proposals to strengthen freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education in England, including a new Free Speech Champion and a registration condition for higher education providers (both proposals were set out in the Policy Exchange report)
The Policy Exchange report was published in August 2020 and some of its proposals (including the new Free Speech Champion) were adopted in the government’s paper. Tom Simpson, who is also an Associate Fellow at Policy Exchange, co-authored of the report. In the official Department for Education announcement, he says: "This policy paper by the Department for Education is a very welcome step towards ensuring that viewpoint diversity is protected in British universities.
As Cambridge University’s recent Senate House vote shows, there is a substantial majority of academics who favour academic freedom. The problem, as Policy Exchange’s research has explored, is that a very online culture allows the views of a minority to exert disproportionate influence on administrators, and to exert a chilling effect on other academics. Promoting a norm of political non-discrimination, and incentivising administrators to do what they are already legally obliged to do, is a crucial step towards ensuring a culture of free discourse in our universities."