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Conference & Trainings


SAR Network Global Congress, Amsterdam, 9-10 April 2014

Thank you to all who attended the triennial Scholars at Risk Network Global Congress held on 9-10 April 2014 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, co-hosted by Scholars at Risk, the Foundation for Refugee Students (UAF), University of Amsterdam (UvA), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA).  Please find below photos, videos, presentations and media stories.

Please continue the discussions with us on SAR's Facebook and Twitter pages (#free2think).



Wednesday, April 9, 2014 

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

  12:00-13:00 Registration
Welcome & Opening Remarks
Including Frank van der Duyn Schouten, Rector, VU Amsterdam, Maarten den Heyer, Board Member, UAF, and Jonathan Fanton, Board Chair, Scholars at Risk Network

SAR video presentation

"Freedom to think, responsibility to act"

Overview of the program by Robert Quinn, Executive Director, Scholars at Risk Network
  Keynote “Academic Responsibility in Global Higher Education”
By Craig Calhoun, Director of London School of Economics and Political Science
  With introductory remarks by Hans-Georg van Liempd, President of EAIE

Coffee Break
“Courage to Think Dialogues: Global Voices”
Conversations with scholars from around the world featuring a keynote dialogue with Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran; in conversation with Rik Torfs, Rector of KU Leuven; Habib Kazdaghli, Dean of the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Manouba, Tunisia; Ielyzaveta Shchepetylnykova, Chair, Ukrainian Association of Student Self-Government; Kholoud Saber, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Egypt; Melanie Adrian, Carleton University; Myint Oo, Myanmar General Practitioners' Society, and Alex Geert Castermans, Leiden University. 
  17:15 Reception & Dinner
19:30-21:00 “Courage to Think” Celebration
An evening celebration with performances of Courage to Think Monologues, based on the stories of SAR-assisted scholars.  Remarks from Mardjan Seighali and Pieter Hilhorst.

Presentation of the 2014 SAR Courage to Think Award by Jonathan Fanton and Irving Epstein to Dean Habib Kazdaghli of Tunisia.

Thursday, April 10, 2014 

University of Amsterdam (UvA)

Welcome & summary of workshop goals
Including Alexander Rinnooy Kan, University of Amsterdam and Robert Quinn, Executive Director, Scholars at Risk Network.

9:15 Workshop A:  Protecting threatened scholars
Designed for prospective, new, and experienced SAR members, partner network members and affiliates, this workshop will explore opportunities and best practices for helping to protect at-risk scholars. Presenters will include SAR-assisted scholars from Iran and Iraq; host campus representatives including Karin Vliestra from the University of Amsterdam (UvA), SAR staff including Sinead O'Gorman and Lauren Crain, and partners.  Activities discussed will include hosting scholar-visitors, SAR Speaker Series events, SAR Scholars-in-Prison Project, SAR Student Advocacy Seminar and more.  SAR partners will share experience from their work, including  Adam Braver, Roger Williams University; Irving Epstein, Illinois Wesleyan University; Berend Jonker, UAF Iran Programme; Stephen Wordsworth, Council for Assisting Refugee Academics Zimbabwe Project; Sarah Willcox, Scholar Rescue Fund Syria Project, Kari Anette Lindemann, Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund, and Elisabeth Dyvik, International Cities of Refuge Network’s (ICORN) work for threatened writers.

Workshop B:  Preventing attacks on higher education communities
This workshop offers information and discussion about how to participate in research and advocacy activities of SAR and its partners, including especially the SAR Academic Freedom Monitoring Project and the higher education work of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). It is designed for prospective, new and experienced SAR members, affiliates and partner network members, including especially individual faculty and students. Presenters will include Diya Nijhowne, Director of GCPEA, Robert Quinn, Executive Direct, Scholars at Risk and participating monitor-researchers from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
Coffee Break
Workshops A & B continued
  13:00 Lunch

Workshop C:  Promoting academic freedom
“Statements of values in international higher education partnerships”
A plenary workshop discussing SAR’s proposal that a statement or MOU on university values should be regularly incorporated into international higher education partnerships, with responses from leaders in the field, including Jonathan Fanton; Sijbolt Noorda, President, Magna Charta Observatory; Olusola Oyewole, President of the Association of African Universities; Sultan Abu-Orabi, General Secretary of the Association of Arab Universities; and Ambassador Lionel Veer, human rights ambassador for the Government of the Netherlands.


  16:15 2014 SAR Network Meeting*
*Open to SAR members, affiliates and invited guests to share updates, ask questions and help shape SAR’s strategy for the coming years.

Including Sinead O’Gorman, European Director, Scholars at Risk; Ragnhild Øien Guldvog, Chair SAR-Norway Section; Ruth Taillon, Secretary, Universities Ireland; Kris Dejonckheere, Secretary General, UNICA; Stephen Wordsworth, Executive Director, Council for Assisting Refugee Academics; Berend Jonker, Policy Officer, International Affairs, UAF; and more.

17:45-19:00 Closing Reception
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