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 29, 2021

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):University of Bunia

Region & Country:Central Africa | Congo (DRC-Kinshasa)

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On July 29, 2021, students reportedly blocked entry onto the campus of the University of Bunia (UNIBU), causing the university to suspend classes, during a protest over an increase in tuition fees.

Starting on July 28, UNIBU students began protests after the UNIBO administration proposed increasing tuition fees by 75772.00 Congolese Franc ($38 USD). At the July 29 protest, students placed barricades at the gates of the campus, blocked doors to campus buildings, and set tires on fire. UNIBU suspended classes in response to the protests.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about destructive acts and preventing students from entering campus during a protest. While students have the right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, they also have a responsibility to exercise those freedoms nonviolently and responsibly and to refrain from acts that materially deprive others of the right to education and academic freedom. Such incidents undermine academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and democratic society generally.

*SAR identified this incident in data made publicly available by the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED).