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Title: New Website to Promote Academic Freedom
Publication: Scholars at Risk
Published Date:
October 05, 2010


October 5, 2010, New York and London: In celebration of International Academic Freedom Day, in solidarity with, and on the occasion of, World Teachers’ Day, the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR) and Scholars at Risk (SAR) announce the launch of a new website for the promotion and defence of academic freedom: www.academicfreedom.info/workshops.The website aims to guide academics and advocates around the world in their work to develop education and advocacy activities in support of academic freedom.

The website is part of a joint SAR and NEAR initiative—a series of international workshops to raise the profile of academic freedom, university autonomy and related higher education values. The workshops aim to better understand the local and regional dimensions of academic freedom, while inviting participants to inform on-going research, education and advocacy to promote academic freedom worldwide. In the project’s first phase from 2007-2010, with generous support from Foundation Open Society Institute (OSI), six workshops were held with over 150 participants from fifty-one countries.

NEAR and SAR’s experience and discussions with workshop participants confirm that threats to scholars and universities in different parts of the world show similar features, and that academics and advocates may exploit these to develop more effective responses. The website reflect this experience, focusing academic freedom defenders on a common set of standards, actions and strategies that over time can produce significant positive gains across widely divergent political, social, cultural, historical and economic contexts. The website also describes the history and goals of the workshops project, including summaries of each event and information on partners, along with a curriculum and materials to help users to develop their own advocacy activities.
The workshops website also hosts ‘UNIVERSITY VALUES’, an electronic bulletin featuring articles, essays and announcements promoting discussion and understanding of university values. NEAR and SAR coordinate the production and circulation of the bulletin, in cooperation with an international network of contributing organisations and individuals. To learn more, including how you might contribute to the bulletin, we invite you to visit: http://www.academicfreedom.info/workshops/bulletin.html.

SAR and NEAR invite you to visit www.academicfreedom.info/workshops. For more information, please contact scholarsatrisk@nyu.edu or contact@nearinternational.org.


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