Academic Freedom For All?

Academic Freedom For All?

SAIH and Scholars At Risk Norway proudly invite all interested individuals, organizations, academics and students to the seminar "Academic Freedom For All? Commercialisation & populism as rising threats to free research".

20 years ago, UNESCO adopted the Recommendation Concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, the only international instrument that recognizes academic freedom and autonomy of higher education institutions as fundamental values to higher education.

Much has changed since the Recommendation was approved in the UNESCO General Conference in 1997. An increasing trend to commercialize education and the recent rise of populistic political discourses pose new threats to academic freedom and university autonomy, both in poor and rich countries.

On the other hand, resistance to face these challenges is on the rise: In April 2017, March for Science was organized in over 600 cities all over the world. We have seen many of our partners confront these problems in their countries for decades.

The 20-year anniversary of the UNESCO Recommendation is a good opportunity to reflect on these rising challenges and on the role of the Recommendation in addressing them.

Welcome to an inspiring seminar!

Please register here by 10 October. 

See the event on Facebook.


08.00 – 08.30 Breakfast and registration

08.30 – 08.40 Welcome - by SAIH’s President Beathe Øgård

08.40 – 09.00 Key Note Speech: The UNESCO Recommendation, challenges and relevance today - by Haldis Holst, Deputy General Secretary at Education International

09.00 – 10.00 Panel discussion: Commercialization of Education – shrinking the space for critical thinking or meeting the demands of society?

Panel: Kabika Kakunta, President of Zambia National Education Coalition,  Haldis Holst, Deputy General Secretary at Education International,  Peter Haugan, professor at University of Bergen 
Ingerid Salvesen, freelance journalist / “Du Verden” podcast

--- Coffee and fruit ---  10.10 – 11.10 Panel discussion: Targeted for your thoughts – how to restore academic freedom and institutional autonomy in times of populism?

Panel: Bjørnar Kjensli, Managing Editor at - Norwegian science news,  Andreas Ytterstad, Norwegian researcher at Institute of Journalism & Media Studies at HiOA / vice president for Concerned Scientists,  affected scholar (anonymous for security reasons) 
Moderator: Ingerid Salvesen, freelance journalist / “Du Verden!” podcast

11.10 – 11.30 Ending remarks

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