We're committed to bringing secularism into the mainstream of the human rights movement. Students and student societies play a vital role in campaigning for secularism, and we're always keen to expand our support for student groups.
In recent years we've seen that universities are becoming a key area where secularism is being both explored and challenged. Active engaged students can help promote secularism and help us to campaign for a society in which people of all religions or none can live together fairly and peacefully.
Secularists, atheists and advocates of free speech are facing unique challenges on UK university campuses today. While many groups do great work supporting student activism, the National Secular Society has a proven track record helping societies facing difficulties on campus, particularly concerning censorship from universities and Student Unions.
Standing up for secular values like freedom of expression is at the heart of the NSS' work. This is particularly important in universities. We are keen to raise awareness of threats to secularism and free speech which occur on campuses; so contact us if you need our support.
- What Is Secularism - Simple Print Your Own Leaflet (PDF, 101 Kb)
- NSS Student Start Up Guide (PDF, 507 Kb)
- Student Start Up FLYER (PDF, 34 Kb)
- Secularism Protects (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
This general leaflet (available from the NSS) gives a brief outline of secularism and its importance in protecting human rights.
Secular Charter posters - available from the NSS
We always recommend that student groups look around and see what other resources and support there are from a range of groups on campus and nationally. This can be a great way for you to form links and share learning with other societies.
Secular students and campaigners at the AHS launch, 2009.
In 2009 the NSS and a number of groups helped launch the AHS,a the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, the umbrella organisation for non-religious student societies.
Student societies who are members of the AHS can affiliate to the NSS for free.
Subscribing to Newsline is the best way to keep up with all our news and events. If you'd like to keep up with student news specifically then please get in touch.
Mon, 13 Feb 2017 16:07
University administrations are becoming increasingly "censorious", with 43% of universities censoring speech that might "offend" religious people, according to online magazine Spiked.
Fri, 06 May 2016 13:32
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has been asked by the Department for Education to investigate an independent Islamic school that segregated its staff by gender.
Mon, 29 Feb 2016 12:38
A student-led free speech campaign supported by the counter-extremism think tank Quilliam is urging for reform of campus debate, as the NUS faces calls from secularists and ex-Muslims to revise 'safe space' policies.
Mon, 28 Sep 2015 09:40
The National Secular Society has welcomed Warwick Student Union's decision to host secular campaigner Maryam Namazie. The Union reversed their ban on her speaking following huge public pressure.
Fri, 25 Sep 2015 12:35
Maryam Namazie has been blocked from speaking to the Warwick Atheists, Secularists and Humanists' Society after the Student Union said the ex-Muslim campaigner could 'insult' religion.
Mon, 20 Jul 2015 15:45
Despite criticising "segregated" education, Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the continuation of faith schools in a speech on counter extremism.
Tue, 14 Jul 2015 11:01
New research has warned that a 'culture conducive' to non-violent extremism has emerged on campuses and that universities are still vulnerable to radical preachers, despite past warnings.
Bath Student Union says decision to cut Jesus and Mohammed sketch was “in line with normal practice”
Mon, 11 May 2015 13:03
Bath Student Union has defended their decision to cut 'blasphemous' material from a student group's comedy show, saying that it is "normal practice" for Student Union officers to edit scripts.
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 12:42
Student Union officials and university chaplains ordered a line featuring Mohammed cut from a student comedy show, because it caused "great offence."
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 13:13
The National Union of Students has voted to work with Islamic 'civil rights' group Cage, against the Government's counter-terror and counter-radicalisation strategy.