UVA Places No. 6 in 2024 National College Free Speech Rankings

September 12, 2023 By Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu Jane Kelly, jak4g@virginia.edu

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression has ranked the University of Virginia No. 6 nationally in its survey of college undergraduates at 254 schools regarding freedom of expression.

The nonprofit organization, known as FIRE, is committed to sustaining and defending the rights of all Americans to free speech and thought. It partnered with College Pulse, a survey research and analytics company, to query students about their perceptions and experiences regarding free speech at their schools.

In results released last week, the foundation also ranked UVA the No. 1 school in Virginia for freedom of speech. Michigan Technical University is No. 1 overall. FIRE says the “top-ranked colleges have the highest average score among all students surveyed and have the most open environments for free speech.”

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To arrive at the overall score, the foundation asked students at the schools to consider seven components, including openness to discussing challenging topics on campus and their perceptions of whether their school protects or punishes free speech.

In 2021, UVA’s Board of Visitors unanimously endorsed a statement on free expression and free inquiry. The statement’s opening line reads: “The University of Virginia unequivocally affirms its commitment to free expression and free inquiry. All views, beliefs, and perspectives deserve to be articulated and heard free from interference.”

Media Contact

Jane Kelly

University News Senior Associate Office of University Communications