European Action for Academic Freedom 

Academic freedom is essential for any meaningful research, learning and teaching and, as such, a central tenet of a flourishing democracy. It facilitates open, constructive and diverse dialogue thereby allowing societies to grow in thought and function.  However, attacks on scholars, students, staff, and their institutions are occurring with frequency. Populist and authoritarian regimes are on the rise and are actively working to restrict academic freedom, while ongoing refugee crises and armed conflicts, contribute to record numbers of scholars in need of support.

Our aim is to increase understanding, protection for, and implementation of academic freedom Europe-wide, by engaging European human rights and higher education systems. This will include bringing activities beyond the doors of the university, and involving new partners, new countries, and new sectors in highly visible advocacy initiatives. Specifically, we aim to:

(1) Inform policymaking in Europe as it relates to academic freedom;
(2) Expand and coordinate advocacy by European actors; and
(3) Increase participation from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe. 

In so doing, we hope to bridge the gaps between the higher education and human rights communities in Europe, increase the impact of advocacy efforts through better coordination across Europe, and increase visibility and knowledge across Europe of the importance of academic freedom to free and open societies.