Academic freedom vs. other core higher education values
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Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters
Footnotes1Relevant human rights provisions include especially the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article 15 on the right to education) and related 1999 General Comment 13 of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR); the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 18 on freedom of “thought, conscience, and religion” and Article 19 on “the right to hold opinions without interference,” “freedom of expression,” and “freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers”); and the related provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Articles 9 & 17), 1948 American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man (Articles 4 & 12), 1967 American Convention on Human Rights (Article 13), and the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 10 & Protocol Article 2).2Relevant UNESCO instruments include especially the 1997 UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, 1974 Recommendation on the Status of Scientific Researchers, and the 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education. Similarly, in Europe the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a recommendation on the research mission of universities in 2000 and a recommendation on the responsibility of public authorities for academic freedom and institutional autonomy in 2012, while the Parliamentary Assembly adopted Recommendation 1762 (2006) on academic freedom and university autonomy.3Relevant civil society statements include the 1982 Declaration on Rights and Duties Inherent in Academic Freedom, adopted by the International Association of University Professors and Lecturers (IAUPL) in Sienna, Italy; the 1988 Lima Declaration on Academic Freedom and Autonomy of Institutions of Higher Education, adopted by the World University Service (WUS); the 1988 Magna Charta Universitatum, adopted by the Standing Conference of Rectors, Presidents and Vice-Chancellors of the European Universities (CRE); the 1990 Dar es Salam Declaration on Academic Freedom and Social Responsibility of Academics, adopted by staff associations of higher education establishments in Tanzania in 1990; the 1990 Kampala Declaration on Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility, adopted at a symposium held for that purpose by members of the African intellectual community; and the 2004 Amman Declaration on Academic Freedom and the Independence of the Institutions of Higher Education and Scientific Research, adopted by the Conference of Academic Freedom in the Arab Universities. Building on these, the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) has recently released guidance to states on the responsibility to protect core values, especially academic freedom and institutional autonomy, in the context of violent and coercive attacks on higher education. GCPEA, Guide to Implementing the Principles of State Responsibility to Protect Higher Education from Attack (2016). Recent statements recognizing the importance of core values in cross-border higher education include “Guidelines for an Institutional Code of Ethics in Higher Education,” jointly issued by the International Association of Universities and the Magna Charta Observatory (2012), and the “Hefei Statement on the Ten Characteristics of Contemporary Research Universities” (2013), jointly issued by the Association of American Universities, Group of Eight (Australia), League of European Research Universities and the Chinese 9 Universities, and later joined by the Russell Group, U15 Canada, AEARU (Association of East Asian Research Universities), RU11 Japan, and the Hong Kong 3.4UNESCO 1997 Rec., para. 27 (citing UNESCO 1974 Rec.). The UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ESCR) has commented that “[m]embers of the academic community, individually or collectively, are free to pursue, develop and transmit knowledge and ideas, through research, teaching, study, discussion, documentation, production, creation or writing. Academic freedom includes the liberty of individuals to express freely opinions about the institution or system in which they work, to fulfill their functions without discrimination or fear of repression by the State or any other actor, to participate in professional or representative academic bodies, and to enjoy all the internationally recognized human rights applicable to other individuals in the same jurisdiction” (ESCR Committee, General Comment 13: The Right to Education, E/C.12/1999/10, 1999).
Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters
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