Arab Region Scores Lowest in the World for Academic Freedom

Posted March 16, 2021

A piece by Burton Bollag for Al-Fanar Media covering the Academic Freedom Index, developed by SAR and partners.

Scholars and students in the Arab region enjoy less academic freedom than their counterparts elsewhere in the world, the second annual Academic Freedom Index 2020 found.

“If you compare world regions, the MENA region scores worse than others,” said Ilyas Saliba, a researcher at the Global Public Policy Institute, in Berlin, and one of the report’s authors.

He was speaking at a virtual news conference to launch the report on March 11.

“There are a few bright spots, like Tunisia,” he said. A guarantee of academic freedom was included in the country’s rewritten 2014 constitution, making Tunisia the only Arab country to enshrine that right in its basic law. (See a related article, “Tunisian Academics Still Under Threat After the Jasmine Revolution.”)

But overall, the situation in the Arab region is deeply troubling.

Read more here.

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