SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: July 14, 2021

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances

Institution(s):University of Nairobi

Region & Country:Eastern Africa | Kenya

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 14, 2021, police clashed with medical students at the University of Nairobi (UON) during a protest.

UON medical students had gathered on campus to protest a 70% increase in tuition fees. They reportedly blocked the road and threw stones at passing vehicles and/or police while police fired tear gas at the students, reportedly arresting three of them. All of the students were released later that day, and were not charged.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about violence during on-campus protests. While students and other protesters have a right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they must exercise these rights peacefully and responsibly. State authorities must likewise exercise restraint and refrain from disproportionate responses to violent or destructive actions. Violence and the destruction of campus property harm the ability of higher education communities to safely and adequately conduct research, teaching, and other academic activities. Such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.