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Partner Networks

In 2006-07, SAR launched a multi-year initiative to identify new partners around the world.  The initiative focuses on organizing “partner networks”—national or regional networks of higher education institutions—that represent their country or region in Scholars at Risk activities.  Each partner network is also a starting point for inviting the participation of universities in neighboring countries.  Partner networks are locally (usually nationally or regionally) managed networks of higher education institutions pledged to promote academic freedom, university autonomy and related values.

Scholars at Risk works through 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.


UK Universities Network: The UK Network'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 Network 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 Network 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 Network currently has 71 university members.

Scholars at Risk, Irish Section in partnership with Universities Ireland: The Irish 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 will provide 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 the SAR network. These include: Cantabria, Castilla La Mancha, Extremadura , Islas Baleares, La Rioja, Navarra, Oviedo, País Vasco and Zaragoza. The Spanish network hopes to receive its first scholar in Spain through the Scholars at Risk program in the 2009-10 academic year.

UAF--Scholars at Risk Network, Netherlands: This network is a joint initiative of the University Assistance Fund (UAF) and the Scholars at Risk (SAR) network.  Currently in its pilot stage (2009-2012), the UAF in cooperation with SAR and higher education institutions in the Netherlands will provide 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.

The European Universities Association (EAU): With 850 members across 47 countries, EUA 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.

Middle East

Arab Society for Academic Freedom: The Arab Society for Academic Freedom was launched in March 2008 in Jordan. The Society’s mission is to promote academic freedom and university autonomy across the region. The Society has a 25-member Council and an 11-member Executive Committee, with representation from across the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab Society is hosted by the Amman Centre for Human Rights, based in Jordan.

Israel Network: There are eight university members of the Scholars at Risk Israel Network, 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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