International Partnership in Academia - an Ethical Challenge?

The geography of knowledge production is shifting, and new collaborations are developing. The nature of science is international, and the challenges to solve are often global. Still, research and higher education are practiced in various cultural and political contexts with different perceptions of academic freedom and other values.

Do we have some basic academic values we all agree on across cultures? Are there some ethical standards that are not open for negotiation in cooperation agreements? What if your international partner is hindered from doing or publishing the research?

Scholars at Risk has proposed the introduction of a voluntary memorandum of understanding (MoU) on higher education values in all international partnerships between higher education institutions, with an emphasis on equitable access, accountability, academic freedom, institutional autonomy and social responsibility as these are understood in the UNESCO Recommendation on the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997). How could this initiative increase the understanding and cooperation around basic academic values?

The conference is supported by the Fritt Ord Foundation and the Norwegian UNESCO Committee.