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Academic Freedom Workshops

Academic freedom - the freedom to teach and learn without fear or retribution - is the heart of the modern university. Quality depends on society and the state respecting the space for inquiry and expression, through which insights are made. In a knowledge-driven world, academic freedom is more important than ever.

Recognizing this Scholars at Risk Network (SAR) and its partners worldwide have undertaken a series of workshops bringing together leading scholars, advocates and professionals to rethink issues of academic freedom and related values - including access, accountability/ transparency, academic freedom/ quality, autonomy/ good governance, and social responsibility. Each event aims to better understand the regional dimensions of these issues, while asking participants to inform and shape on-going work to promote these values worldwide.


The goals of the workshops project are:

  1. to provide a safe, open forum for discussion of university values-including access, accountability/ transparency, academic freedom/quality, autonomy/good governance, and social responsibility;
  2. to better understand the meanings of, and experiences with, these values in different countries and regions;
  3. to better understand how respect for these values contributes towards higher education communities' ability to fulfill their mission and to serve the broad public good;
  4. to build solidarity on these issues among higher education communities in all countries and regions;
  5. to encourage communication about these issues within each country, including among government and non-government sponsors, institutional leadership, teaching and research staff, students and the public;
  6. to establish a network of national, regional and international experts to advance research, education and advocacy on these issues; and
  7. to develop practical strategies to strengthen these values everywhere, for the benefit of all.

Curriculum and materials

An advocacy curriculum together with materials and reports from prior workshops are provided to allow users to develop relate activities on their own. Prior workshops have been held in Istanbul, Turkey; Accra, Ghana; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Vilnius, Lithuania; St. Petersburg, Russia; and Amman, Jordan. Institutions, organizations and individuals interested in partnering to arrange a workshop in their region are urged to contact SAR for further details.


SAR is eager for your feedback and suggestions on the advocacy curriculum and materials; on your interest in participating in workshops and joint projects ; and most of all, on ways to strengthen and improve our collective work to promote academic freedom and university values. Please click here to complete a brief survey now. Click the link here to see a summary of the feedback from past workshop participants. Please click here to see the report now. If you are using the website and curriculum to conduct your own workshop, click the link here for a SAMPLE evaluation form that you can use to gather feedback from participants. Sample in WORD / Sample in PDF. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us!

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