Are some questions too dangerous to ask? What happens to scholars and students who ask those questions? How can you contribute to strengthening core academic values, such as academic freedom? These are among the questions we discussed in “Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters,” a free online course created by the Academic Refuge project.
Given the threats facing scholars and higher education institutions today, understanding academic freedom is important, not only to academics, but to all of society. In this free online course, we grappled with questions such as:
- What is academic freedom and how does it relate to other higher education and societal values?
- Why are academic freedom and related values important, and what threats or challenges to these values may be faced in different contexts?
- How can you as a student, academic or other staff member in higher education promote and defend academic freedom and related values
This course was free and available to anyone with internet access. The material was divided into 3 weeks with an expected workload of 3 hours per week. There was ample opportunity for discussion with fellow course participants from around the world.
The Academic Refuge Project
The Academic Refuge project aims to improve the capacity of European universities to assist refugees and threatened academics on campus and to promote understanding and respect for higher education values. Partners include the University of Oslo, the UNICA network, the University of Ljubljana and Scholars at Risk. The European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of International Education (EAIE) are associate partners on the project.