Courage to Think: A video intro to Scholars at Risk. Watch>
Scholars at Risk’s triennial Global Congress was held in Amsterdam on April 9-10. The theme was "Freedom to Think, Responsibility to Act,” recognizing the important role that scholars and the higher education sector generally play in society, while at the same time challenging members of the sector to consider whether access to higher education and the enjoyment of academic freedom carry with them responsibilities. If yes, what are they and how are they to be met? The Congress explored these issues through panels, roundtable discussions, workshops and a performance of Courage to Think Monologues (featuring the stories of threatened scholars assisted by our network). The Congress also included the 2014 SAR Network Meeting reviewing SAR’s mission, governance and strategy. Thanks to all who attended.
The summary report of the Congress is available here. It includes brief summaries of the discussions, key recommendations, and references to the many ways your institution, researchers and students benefit and can be a part of this important work, as well as links to videos, presentations, media stories and network membership information. We invite you to share it with colleagues at your institution and other institutions, inviting them to get involved. We invite you also to continue the discussions on SAR's Facebook and Twitter pages (#free2think). More information on the Congress is available at www.scholarsatrisk.org/Amsterdam.
SAR honored with Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award
Scholars at Risk is honored to receive Tufts University’s Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award. The award is given in commemoration of former university chancellor and president Dr. Jean Mayer, whose dictum was: “Scholarship, research and teaching must be dedicated to solving the most pressing problems facing the world.” The inscription on the award reads: “For your extraordinary embrace of intellectuals fleeing persecution and violence and for your vigorous defense of the principles of unencumbered inquiry and academic freedom.” SAR is grateful to all our members and partners who make this important work possible.
The award was presented to SAR on February 28th at Tufts University’s annual Institute for Global Leadership symposium, which focused on “The Future of the Middle East and North Africa”, and featured international practitioners, activists, academics, public intellectuals, and journalists, including SAR scholars from Bahrain and Syria.
On January 6th Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly adopted a constitutional provision guaranteeing protection of academic freedoms. Article 32 of the new constitution states that "academic freedoms and freedom of scientific research shall be guaranteed" and requires that "[t]he state shall seek to provide the necessary means to develop scientific and technological research." The measure passed by a vote of 171 for, 6 against, and 6 abstentions. The NCA is scheduled to adopt the full constitution by January 14. Adoption requires two-thirds of the assembly's 217 members; otherwise it will have to be put to a public referendum.
With the new Article 32, Tunisia joins at least 20 other states that include explicit protection for academic freedom or academic liberty in their constitutions. Constitutions in another 99 states include language directly guaranteeing elements of academic freedom (including, for example, institutional autonomy), while 76 states indirectly guarantee academic freedom via related rights, including the freedom of thought, freedom of expression, and right to education. (Full list of countries here.)
Scholars at Risk supports the inclusion of language explicitly protecting academic freedom and institutional autonomy in national constitutions, basic laws and national higher education statutes. Explicit protection helps to ensure the security of higher education communities and their members, freeing them to fulfill their vital educational, social, cultural, economic and political functions, to the benefit of society.
Scholars at Risk has been concerned about pressures on higher education communities in Tunisia and throughout the Arab Spring countries, including co-organizing an international conference in Tunis together with Tunisian partners and New York University's Center for Dialogues. The report of the conference, The University and the Nation: Safeguarding Higher Education in Tunisia and Beyond, was released on November 18th. Details of the event are available on SAR's Events page.
Scholars at Risk is pleased to share the publication of a new report, "Institutional Autonomy and the Protection of Higher Education from Attack." The report examines the need for increased efforts to protect higher education from violent and coercive attacks by simultaneously increasing security and autonomy. The report is issued by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). Scholars at Risk is a member of the coalition's Higher Education Working Group and played a leading role in developing the report.
|SAR News Headlines||SAR Events|
01/28/2014, Providing a safe haven for scholars at risk Montreal is half a world away from the rural community of Bure, Ethiopia, where Semahagn Abebe was raised by his grandmother. One of eleven children, he soon moved to the capital city, Addis Ababa, to pursue higher education and launch his career.
10/25/2013, Prof Suspended Over Tweet Won't Return in 2013 The chancellor of the University of Kansas announced Thursday that a journalism professor suspended over a tweet that angrily targeted the National Rifle Association after the Navy Yard shootings will not return to his classroom in 2013.
10/25/2013, Confederate flag raises issues, ire at a N.Y. college ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A University of Rochester student says college officials violated his right to free expression by forcing him to take down a Confederate flag he had put in the window of his room on campus.
02/21/2013, The University and the Nation: Safeguarding Higher Education in Tunisia and Beyond Scholars at Risk and the NYU Center for Dialogues announce a conference, The University and the Nation: Safeguarding Higher Education in Tunisia and Beyond, at University of Manouba in Tunis, Tunisia on...
05/23/2011, Launch of Scholars at Risk, Norway Section Scholars at Risk, Norway Section will be launched at Oslo University College (HiO). The Norwegian Section will represent Norway in the wider international Scholars at Risk Network and organize and coordinate...
04/27/2011, Swimming with Sharks: How Big Pharma Threatens Academic Freedom The University of Groningen, member of the SAR-UAF network in the Netherlands, hosts “Swimming with Sharks: How Big Pharma Threatens Academic Freedom,” from 8 to 10 p.m. on April 27 at the Academiegebouw,...