SAR’s research and learning opportunities include handbooks, reports, courses and workshops, conferences and fellowships, bringing together faculty, students, higher education community members, and the wider public to discuss global and regional academic freedom climates. As spaces for free inquiry and expression shrink worldwide, education and dialogue are intended to facilitate solutions that strengthen the university space.
Promoting Core Higher Education Values
Universities and the wider higher education community bear an essential obligation to provide the space in which academic freedom is not only protected, but promoted. SAR offers a proactive framework that recognizes the interconnectedness of core higher education values that maintain a healthy space to think, question, and share ideas.
- Build understanding and respect for higher education values & their contributions to society
- Avoid “pitfalls” of neglect and oversimplification
- Provide a framework for dialogue, analyzing incidents, and risk management
- Develop individual & institutional responses to protect higher education values
Establishing structural protections for academic freedom
The SAR network has contributed to and led efforts to establish structural protections for academic freedom worldwide. In March 2023, a SAR-led Working Group on Academic Freedom drafted ‘Principles for Implementing the Right of Academic Freedom,’ intended to establish authoritative guidance on the topic. In July 2023, SAR organized a UN Human Rights Council (HRC) side event on academic freedom, sharing the ‘Principles’ project to States and UN actors.
Research & Learning Opportunities
SAR Scholar Speaker Series
Scholars visit member institutions as part of SAR’s Scholar Speaker Series to share their academic work and stories of courage and perseverance. Invite a scholar to speak.
Through the SAR Speaker Series, scholars often join lectures, panels, workshops, and seminars at institutions within the network to discuss their academic expertise and the threats they experienced in their home country.
Workshops and conferences
Scholars at Risk and its partners worldwide organize workshops and biennial conferences around the world, bringing together leading scholars, advocates, students and professionals to rethink issues of academic freedom, and related values.
SAR welcomes opportunities to co-organize workshops, seminars, round-tables and other events focused on academic freedom and related university values. To learn more, please contact email@example.com.
Mellon/SAR Academic Freedom Workshop & Fellowship
Made possible by the generous support and partnership of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mellon/SAR Ac
ademic Freedom Workshop and Fellowship program provides a research stipend and supportive professional community for researchers to develop and share related work on academic freedom and/or related higher education values leading to a publishable article; new course offering; workshop, webinar, or conference presentation; or other identified end product. Learn more.
“Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters” free, online course
SAR’s massive open online course (MOOC), “Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters” explores the meaning of academic freedom and how it relates to core higher education and societal values. Since its first run in spring 2018, the free online course has enrolled over 5000 participants from nearly 150 countries. Sign up for the course.
Free to Think Podcast
Free to Think features conversation with individuals whose research, teaching, or expression falls at the always sensitive intersection of power and ideas. Rob Quinn, SAR’s Executive Director, invites guests who share stories of currently or formerly threatened scholars, students, or practitioners; commentary on recent academic freedom issues; examination of legislative or policy developments; interviews with authors and filmmakers; and conversations with SAR network members and partners.
Listen to “Free to Think” on SAR’s website or on any major podcast platform, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts.