SAR Italy

Registration for LIBERTAS. Spaces and practices of academic freedom

Beato Pellegrino Complex, Padova, Italy

22-24 June 2022

Registration form in presence

Registration for  remote participation

List of nearby hotels

Academic freedom is a specific form of freedom of expression which has in the last few years gained prominence in European discourse and policy. References to academic freedom appear  in recent policy documents – such as the EU Strategy for Universities 2022-24, the Bonn Declaration on Freedom of Scientific Research adopted  at the Ministerial Conference on the European research Area (2020)  or the Council of Europe’s Recommendation on Threats to academic freedom and autonomy of higher education institutions in Europe (Rec 2189, 2020). Such references signal the relevance of the theme today, as universities’ institutional autonomy and researchers’ rights to enquiry and knowledge sharing are increasingly under threat, worldwide and in the European context. Yet it is also a long-standing issue and a foundational principle that has characterised the history of the University of Padova from its very inception 800 years ago.

To celebrate eight centuries of commitment to the protection and promotion of academic freedom and to revive such commitment the University of Padova, in collaboration with Scholars at Risk Italy and Scholars at Risk Europe, is organising an international conference to discuss LIBERTAS. Spaces and practices of academic freedom. 

The aim of this conference is to promote knowledge and understanding of processes that – across the centuries and still today – have put academic freedom as a specific form of freedom of expression at stake, and to expand the debate on themes related to academic freedom and its violations. The conference adopts a trans-disciplinary approach to academic freedom,  informed by historical awareness and evidence of current threats, and it brings into dialogue voices from academia and other sectors as well as at-risk scholars. Furthermore, the conference considers the multi-level nature of commitment to academic freedom: local, national and European.

The conference is preceded by a workshop on “Engaging students in responsible Internationalisation” organised together with SAR Sweden, which is the final of three workshops organised in the context of the Swetaly collaboration between Italian and Swedish rectors’ conferences. Following the conference SAR Italy will hold its General Assembly.

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