More academics at risk offered sanctuaries in Sweden through the network Scholars at Risk

Attacks on higher education communities have increased

During the past 12 months 257 attacks have been reported in 35 countries. The Swedish section of Scholars at Risk (SAR-Sweden) has been granted funding of 6 million SEK from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. This funding will allow the Swedish section to host more scholars at risk.

The newly released report Free to think 2017, published by Scholars at Risk (SAR), reports on the increased number of attacks. The report demonstrates how higher education institutions often are targeted for violent attacks and are especially exposed under authoritarian regimes and in conflict zones.

There is an increased need for protection of academics at risk. In addition, there is a big interest among Swedish higher education institutions to be more engaged in SAR. To meet this demand and to allow for more scholars to be hosted within the network, SAR-Sweden has applied for funding from the foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, says Karolina Catoni, coordinator SAR-Sweden.

The application have been granted funding of 6 million kronor (two millions per year until 2019). A co-funding of 50 percent from the hosting institution is required.

Five SAR-scholars have been hosted in Sweden until now: four at the University of Gothenburg and one at the University of Borås. More SAR-Scholars will now be able to find a sanctuary in Sweden. The granted funding is estimated to co-fund the one-year positions of 10-12 scholars in Sweden during the three year period.

About Scholars at Risk (SAR)

SAR is an international network of over 500 higher education institutions. SAR’s mission is to promote and protect academic freedom. Through the networks at risk academics can get a temporary sanctuary at a higher education institution outside their home country. The hosting institution is financing the scholar during the placement. SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project identifies and reports attacks on higher education. Free to Think 2017 was released on September 26th 2017.

SAR-Sweden is coordinated from the University of Gothenburg and has 16 higher education institutions and one research institute among its members. The Swedish section aims at the sharing of experience regarding hosting of scholars, but also at advocacy regarding academic freedom.

For more information

Please contact Karolina Catoni, who is the coordinator of SAR-Sweden.

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BY: Karolina Catoni and Jessica Glanzelius

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