Exploring Difference – Supporting Academic Freedom in International Cooperation and at Home

Monday 28 October 2019, 14:00-17:30 followed by a networking reception
Embassy of Canada, Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin

Academic freedom is a core higher education value for universities and research institutes globally, nurturing critical minds and defending intellectual diversity they foster democratic values and open societies.

Given the changing academic landscape and diversification of our societies, simultaneously maintaining this openness and balancing institutional and individual interests has become a continuous challenge for higher education institutions.  The importance of this issue increases when dealing with external partners, be it in one´s own country (e.g. when dealing with societal stakeholders or third-party funding) or in the context of international cooperation where values and interpretations of academic freedom may differ from your own.

2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the German Basic Constitutional Law according to which “Arts and sciences, research and teaching shall be free. The freedom of teaching shall not release any person from allegiance to the constitution”.  This year’s International Dialogue on Education Berlin joins the German science organisations’ celebration of this anniversary by exploring how universities in Canada, the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany foster and ensure academic freedom on their campuses and in their international co-operations.

The discussion will focus on, but not be limited to the following three questions:

1) Should institutions of higher education regulate cooperation with international partners who do not abide by the values of academic freedom? Is there a difference between individual mobility and institutional cooperation?

2) What is being done to ensure that funding (third party, government, etc.) does not influence or limit academic freedom?

3) Do institutions need to limit the academic freedom of individual researchers in order to defend academic freedom in general?