SAR Sections

SAR Sections are groups of higher education institutions and associations that are nationally or regionally focused and organized specifically to coordinate participation in SAR activities.

SAR Sections are often coordinated by a local steering committee or secretariat, in partnership with the SAR Secretariat. New members or affiliates in an area where a SAR Section already exists will be registered with the section automatically, although SAR Sections may not exist in all areas. To date, SAR has helped launch sixteen SAR sections around the world.

Network members interested in forming a SAR Section in their area are invited to contact SAR. Higher education institutions looking to get involved in their section’s activities can learn more about their section below:

SAR Australia: The SAR Australia section was formally launched on August 19th, 2021. Visit the SAR Australia’s section page  or contact Tami Harriot for more information on programming and country updates.

SAR Canada: The SAR Canada Section was formally launched on June 22, 2012 at the University of Toronto’s Massey College by The Honourable Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Winnipeg. Visit SAR Canada’s section page or contact Natasha Nobell or Mirja Trilsch to learn more.

CARA-SAR UK Universities Network: The CARA-SAR UK Universities Network inaugural Meeting was held at The Royal Society, London, on 15th March 2006, under the auspices of the UK based Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and the Scholars at Risk Network (SAR). The aim of the Section is to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between UK higher education institutions in support of refugee and threatened academics and in defence and promotion of academic and university freedoms worldwide. To this end, the activities of the Section seek to strengthen respect for academic and university freedom; highlight the important role of academics in society; help refugee academics in the UK to rebuild their careers; assist academics under threat in their home country; provide global leadership in crafting an effective response to challenges to academic freedom worldwide. Visit CARA’s website to learn more.

SAR Denmark: The Scholars at Risk Denmark section was launched at the University of Copenhagen on February 18, 2019. The Denmark section was established to protect and support threatened and refugee scholars and promote academic freedom. Please contact Mark de Vos or visit SAR Denmark’s section page to learn more.

SAR Finland: On May 8, 2017, representatives from universities across Finland convened in Vaasa to launch the Finnish section of Scholars at Risk. SAR Finland is the product of a longstanding partnership between Finnish higher education institutions and the global SAR Network. For further information and to get involved, please contact Juha Teperi at Tampere University.

SAR Flanders: The SAR Flanders Section launched December 10th, 2021. The Flemish Interuniversity Council, VLIR, leads the Section. VLIR brings together the Dutch-speaking universities of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region to collaborate on global and local challenges and the internationalization of higher education and research in Flanders. Ellen Van Laer and Koen Verlaeckt currently lead SAR Flanders.

SAR Germany: The SAR Germany Section was officially launched in Bonn on 20 September 2016 to coordinate a response and draw attention to the issue of infringement of academic freedom. The Section also supports the Philipp Schwartz Initiative, a program jointly developed by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Federal Foreign Office that assists threatened researchers through research fellowships at German universities. The SAR Germany Section represents Germany in the global SAR Network. Contact Katja Machacsek to learn more.

SAR Greece: The launch of the Scholars at Risk Greece section took place on October 1, 2021, hosted by the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. For further information, please visit SAR Greece’s section page or contact or

SAR Ireland: The Ireland Section of Scholars at Risk was launched by Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr Shirin Ebadi at Trinity College Dublin in September 2009. This partnership between Universities Ireland and the Scholars at Risk Network provides support to threatened academics around the world, including by arranging temporary placements in Ireland to allow them to safely continue their work. Visit SAR Ireland’s section page or contact Rory O’Connell to learn more.

SAR Italy: The Scholars at Risk Italy section was launched at the University of Padova on February 19, 2019. Visit SAR Italy’s section page or contact Adriana Di Stefano, Roberta Ricucci, or Giuseppe Angilella to learn more.

SAR Netherlands: SAR Netherlands is the organizing body for member institutions in the Netherlands.

SAR Norway: The SAR Norway Section was launched on May 23, 2011 at Oslo University College (HiO). The Norwegian Section represents Norway in the international Scholars at Risk Network and organizes and coordinates Scholars at Risk activities in Norway. Visit SAR Norway’s section page or contact Karen-Lise Scheie Knudsen to learn more.

SAR Slovakia: Leaders from universities across Slovakia convened on May 23, 2019 in Bratislava to launch the Slovakia section of Scholars at Risk. To learn more and get involved, visit SAR Slovakia’s page or contact Michal Vasecka or Ingrid Borarosova.

SAR Sweden: The Swedish Section of Scholars at Risk was launched at the University of Gothenburg on March 9, 2016. The SAR Sweden Section represents the culmination of several years of partnership between Swedish higher education institutions and the international SAR Network. Visit SAR Sweden’s section page or contact Karolina Catoni to learn more.

SAR Switzerland: The SAR Switzerland Section organizes activities in Switzerland to promote academic freedom and support threatened scholars. Visit SAR Switzerland’s section page or contact Annie Cottier (University of Bern) and Florence Balthasar (Zurich University of the Arts), Co-Chairs of the SAR Swiss Section.

SAR United States: The SAR United States section was founded in 2018.  The SAR United States section steering committee organizes around programmatic areas of interest to the section. Please visit the SAR United States section website or contact Anne McCall for more information on programming and country updates.

SAR Wallonia-Brussels: The Wallonia-Brussels section was incarnated on February 14, 2023. For more information, visit the SAR Wallonia-Brussels site here or contact Alexia Vercruysse at