Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom  

Academic freedom is the freedom to conduct research, publish research outcomes, teach and make public comment within general areas of expertise, without improper interference or restriction from governments, corporations, managerial interventions, from institutional regulation, or from public or institutional pressure.

While those making statements under academic integrity should be cognizant of relevant laws, ethical norms and the values common to contemporary society, it is distinct from the freedom of speech. Academic freedom is part of all academic disciplinary methods and, therefore, essential for research integrity, the exchange of ideas and informed debate in all academic disciplines.

Academic freedom is exercised by academics, who together with their students, form the core of the university. Together they have a central role in the advancement of knowledge.

Management is not ‘the university’ but has a subsidiary function within it. By its very nature, management is not beholden to the academic method, and thus cannot legitimately issue codes of conduct that limit academic freedom.

Academic freedom demands academic sovereignty over academic decisions as the inalienable right and duty of the university’s professoriate. They cannot be transferred to other parties including government.

AAUP Council

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