Academics are becoming more and more left-wing, this free market think tank has warned

 
Mark Sands
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Just 12 per cent of university staff are conservatives. Probably not these ruffians, though. (Source: Getty)

The UK's academics are increasingly dominated by the left-wing, according to a new study from a free-market think tank.

An estimated three-quarters of academics are left-liberals, according to the Adam Smith Institute, which said the figure reveals the dangers of groupthink in the UK's universities.

By contract, just 12 per cent of British academics consider themselves onservatives, generating a substantial disparity with the wider public.

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The figures are based on a December 2015 survey of academic by the Times Higher Education, which asked university staff who they intended to vote for in the upcoming election.

Around 75 per cent of academics said they would support either Labour, the Lib Dems or the Green Party, but only 11 per cent said they backed David Cameron's Conservatives, and less than 0.5 per cent were Ukip supporters.

The ASI said the survey represents a growing tend towards left-wing thinking in British universities, and in a paper opening with a quote from George Orwell, the think tank called on institutions “to commit to ideological diversity with the same fervour they commit to gender, class and race diversity”.

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ASI head of research Ben Southwood said: “In principle, political views shouldn’t affect good scholarship, and it probably doesn’t matter if all our physicists are communists—unless they are passing nuclear secrets to foreign powers.

“But we should be less sanguine if all sociologists or anthropologists are, as they seem to be, there are obvious ways their views could infect their scholarship.”

“No one is suggesting quotas, but we should be mindful of too much intellectual homogeneity. As John Stuart Mill pointed out, we need to air views in order to find out what’s true.”

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