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Partner Networks and Sections

Scholars at Risk encourages coordination of SAR-related activities among groups of higher education institutions and associations through 'sections' and 'partner networks.'  

SAR Sections are groups of higher education institutions, associations and researchers, generally nationally or regionally focused, organized specifically to coordinate participation in SAR activities. SAR Sections are often coordinated by a local steering committee or secretariat, in partnership with the SAR office. New members or affiliates in an area where an SAR Section already exists will be registered with the section automatically, although SAR Sections may not exist in all areas. SAR invites network members and affiliate members interested in forming a SAR Section in their area to contact the SAR office.

SAR Partner Networks involve a cooperation agreement ("Partner Network Agreement") between Scholars at Risk (SAR) and another, pre-existing network of higher education institutions (the ‘Partner’) that shares SAR’s interest in the protection and promotion of academic freedom, institutional autonomy and related higher education values. The purposes of the arrangement are (1) to reinforce the Partner by offering new activities and benefits to its existing institutional members and (2) to strengthen protection and promotion of academic freedom, institutional autonomy and related higher education values by increasing the number and variety of higher education institutions engaged in SAR activities in this area, specifically by (i) offering the Partner and its higher education institutional members opportunities to participate in SAR activities; (ii) encouraging them to participate in such activities, at their discretion, individually or in groups; (iii)encouraging them to seek regular membership in the global SAR network, at their discretion, individually or in groups; and (iv) coordinating services for the Partner and any institutional members that choose to take part in SAR partner network-related activities, including any joint projects which may be developed between SAR and the Partner or any institutional members. Networks of higher education institutions interested in exploring a partner network arrangement are invited to contact the SAR office.

Scholars at Risk works through SAR Sections and Partner Networks in the following regions:


African Academic Freedom Network: The African Academic Freedom network was formed at a SAR-NEAR workshop, in October 2008 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The network is made up in its initial stages of representatives of the various countries represented at the meeting: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda.


CARA-SAR UK Universities Network: The UK Section's Inaugural Meeting was held at The Royal Society, London, on 15th March 2006, under the auspices of the UK based Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR). The aim of the Section is to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between UK higher education institutions in support of refugee and threatened academics and in defence and promotion of academic and university freedoms worldwide. To this end, the activities of the Section seek to strengthen respect for academic and university freedom; highlight the important role of academics in society; help refugee academics in the UK to rebuild their careers; assist academics under threat in their home country; provide global leadership in crafting an effective response to challenges to academic freedom worldwide.

The EUA-SAR Partner Network: With 850 members across 47 countries, the European University Association is the largest and most comprehensive organisation representing universities in Europe. 17 million students are enrolled at EUA member universities. As the voice of Europe’s universities EUA supports and takes forward the interests of individual institutions and the higher education sector as a whole.

The UNICA-SAR Network: UNICA is a network of 46 universities from 35 capital cities of Europe. Its role is to promote academic excellence, integration and co-operation between member universities throughout Europe. It seeks also to be a driving force in the development of the Bologna process and to facilitate the integration of universities from Central and Eastern Europe into the European Higher Education Area.

Scholars at Risk - Ireland Section in partnership with Universities Ireland: The Ireland Section of Scholars at Risk was launched by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Shirin Ebadi at Trinity College Dublin in September 2009. This partnership between Universities Ireland and the Scholars at Risk network provides support to threatened academics around the world, including by arranging temporary placements in Ireland to allow them to safely continue their work. More information.

Grupo 9 de Universidades, Spain: In May 2008, the nine Spanish universities which form the Grupo de 9 Universidades joined SAR as a Partner Network. These include: Cantabria, Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura , Islas Baleares, La Rioja, Navarra, Oviedo, País Vasco and Zaragoza.

UAF - Scholars at Risk project in the Netherlands and Belgium: This Section is a joint initiative of the University Assistance Fund (UAF) and the Scholars at Risk (SAR) network. The UAF in cooperation with SAR and higher education institutions in the Netherlands and Belgium provides sanctuary to professors, lecturers, researchers and other intellectuals who suffer threats in their home country.

Scholars at Risk - Norway Section: Scholars at Risk - Norway Section was launched on May 23, 2011 at Oslo University College (HiO). The Norwegian Section represents Norway in the wider international Scholars at Risk Network and organizes and coordinates Scholars at Risk activities in Norway.


Middle East


Arab Society for Academic Freedom: The Arab Society for Academic Freedom was launched in March 2008 in Jordan, and is hosted by the Amman Centre for Human Rights, based in Jordan. The Society’s mission is to promote academic freedom and university autonomy across the Middle East and North Africa.

Scholars at Risk - Israel Section: There are eight university members of the Scholars at Risk - Israel Section, established in 2005. These include: Bar-Ilan University, Ben Gurion University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Institute for Advanced Studies), Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Tel Aviv University, the University of Haifa and the Weizmann Institute of Science. 

North America

Scholars at Risk - Canada Section: Scholars at Risk - Canada Section was formally launched on June 22, 2012 at the University of Toronto's Massey College by The Honourable Dr. Llyod Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg.
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