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This content is taken from the University of Oslo & Scholars at Risk's online course, Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Welcome to week two. Last week, we talked about what academic freedom is. We talked about how academic freedom is related to other core higher education values. We talked about whether academic freedom is a human right, and the difference between academic freedom and freedom of expression. And we practised drawing the line between them. Finally, we discussed an even more important question than where is the line– the question of, who gets to decide? This week, we’ll cover what is, perhaps, the most important question– even more important than who decides where the line is. That is the question of consequences. What happens to someone who asks a question that crosses the line?

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds In other words, what happens to scholars and students when they ask sensitive or dangerous questions? We will then, share examples of different types of threats to academic freedom– intentional threats, unintended, or systematic threats. And threats resulting from misunderstanding or misapplication of academic freedom principles. And we will share examples of different sources of threats to academic freedom. Threats from state or government sources. Threats from non-state actors and threats from actors inside the higher education community. Finally, we’ll ask, why do we care about these threats to academic freedom? We’ll discuss how threats against academic freedom harm not only scholars and students, but all of society.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds And throughout the week, we’ll ask you to share your comments and let us know what you think. So let’s get started.

Introduction to Week 2

Welcome to Week 2! The scope of academic freedom discussed in Week 1 is sometimes theoretical. In practice, there are frequently pressures or threats to those exercising academic freedom.

In this week we first introduce you to the concept of negative consequences for exercising academic freedom.

Secondly, we look at the different sources and types of threats.

Finally, we explain how these threats harm not only academics but all of society.

Good luck!

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This video is from the free online course:

Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters

University of Oslo

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