Academic freedom is under threat around the world, including Europe. Rising trends in illiberalism and authoritarianism threaten universities as institutions of open societies. Their autonomy as a condition to uphold academic freedom in teaching and research is weakened as a result of political, financial, and social pressures. How can universities resist these challenges? This requires to advance our understanding of academic freedom, and the trends and mechanisms that put it at risk. The Institutions for Open Societies (IOS) Platform Openness Challenged: University at Risk? launches a series of dialogues to tackle these burning questions.
The session will examine how to monitor trends and issues related to academic freedom, in order to ultimately reflect on the question how academic freedom can be defined and legally protected at the national and European levels.