MOOC: Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters

May 7, 2018

Challenge the limits to critical inquiry

Academic freedom is a fundamental value in modern higher education and research. On this course, you'll find out how we can use academic freedom to ask critical questions and contribute to a democratic society. You'll explore the importance of free and open research, and how it relates to core higher education and societal values. You'll understand why academic freedom is crucial for maintaining the quality and relevance of research in higher education. You'll learn about some of the current threats to academic freedom, and how this relates to the academic community worldwide.

What topics will you cover?

  • Traditional and socially engaged definitions of academic freedom
  • Academic freedom in relation to other core higher education values
  • The limits to what is covered by academic freedom
  • Threats to academic freedom in different settings
  • Consequences of threats to academic freedom
  • The importance of academic freedom to democratic societies
  • How you can contribute to strengthening core higher education values at your home institution and in partnerships
  • How you can assess and react to incidents relating to the core higher education values

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Explain the meaning of academic freedom and related values and how these values interrelate
  • Identify challenges and threats to academic freedom in different contexts
  • Assess how academic freedom can be promoted and defended
  • Demonstrate the importance of academic freedom to the development of society

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for students and staff in higher education, but it will be relevant for anyone interested in asking critical questions.

When will the course start?

4th of June.

Who will you learn with?

  • Olga Hunler: Philipp Schwartz Initiative of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellow hosted at Institut fur Ethnologie und Kulturwissenschaft in Universitat Bremen, Germany.
  • Robert Quinn: human rights lawyer and Executive Director of the Scholars at Risk, an network of higher education institutions dedicated to protecting scholars and promoting academic freedom.

Register here: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/academic-freedom/

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