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EUA joins in discussion on “Academic freedom: a universal right at stake!?”

14 December 2017

EUA’s Secretary General, Lesley Wilson, took part in an international conference on the topic of “Academic freedom: a universal right at stake!?”, held on 8 December in Berne, Switzerland. The event was convened by the Delegate for Human Rights of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences.

Participants discussed the current state of academic freedom and different forms of political, religious and commercial pressures to which individual scientists and academic institutions are increasingly being subjected. The aim of the conference was to consider the implications of these developments, both at the individual and institutional levels, and to identify ways of countering them. EUA provided input on its extensive and long-standing work on institutional autonomy, and commented on the challenge of continuing to engage with scholars and universities in countries in which democratic traditions and academic freedom are under threat.

In the coming months, the Association will continue to shape discussions around university values and academic freedom in Europe and beyond. A major milestone will be a member focus group on the role of universities in upholding values, due to be organised during EUA’s Annual Conference at the University of Zurich (5-6 April 2018), which will focus on the societal role of European universities. 

European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
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Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

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Tel: +41 22 552 02 96