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Quest for academic freedom today

Sall, Ebrima; Mangu, Andre Mbata

Academic freedom and the institutional autonomy of universities are essential conditions for higher education and research. The introduction to this special issue of JHEA discusses the need and quest for academic freedom in Africa and other parts of the world, in this day and age of knowledge. The freedom academic institutions, scholars and students to pursue their research, teaching and learning, and to publish without undue control or restraint from the institutions that employ them, from forces in civil society, from donors, or from other academics of a different gender, age, or ideological leaning is a prerequisite for quality higher education and research. With political liberalization in many countries and globalization, the terms in which debates on academic freedom and institutional autonomy are posed have evolved from what they were in the cold war years, for instance. However, the authors argue, academic freedom is as critical today as it ever was. Without academic freedom and institutional autonomy, universities are unable to fulfil some of their primary functions: help societies respond not only to the challenges of development and globalization, but also to societal needs to make sense of, and address increasingly complex social and ecological processes around the world, and be a catalyst and sanctuary for new ideas, including those that may be unpopular.

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Document Title: Quest for academic freedom today
Journal: The Journal for Higher Education in Africa
Volume: 3
Issue: 2
No. of Pages: 1-16

Document Type:Journal Article (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:National Systems and Comparative Studies
Country:African Continent
Keywords:Academic Freedom, Higher Education and the State, Institutional Autonomy, Knowledge Production, Economic Factors

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Date Added:04 July 2007

Sall, Ebrima; Mangu, Andre Mbata (2005). Quest for academic freedom today. The Journal of Higher Education in Africa 3(2): 1-16