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Academic Freedom

Academic freedom in the Arab world has been increasingly undermined and strained. Individually and collectively, the freedom to access, create and share knowledge to serve communities through research, documentation, discussion and creativity faces the challenges of censorship and heavy state interference. 

Academic freedom doesn’t sit alone in societies but is part of the broader freedoms of expression exercised by artists, journalists, writers, and the public at large. Al-Fanar Media believes in the importance of researchers’ and academics’ personal autonomy and independence, as well as the significance of free speech and critical debate. We report on infringements of academic freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, the interference in the management of higher education institutions, the arrests of researchers, university staff and students. We also cover the efforts that governments and institutions are doing to preserve the right to academic freedom. 

We hope through our articles to keep the discussion around academic freedom in the MENA region alive, to contribute to the reduction of censorship in higher education institutions and research. 

Below are a series of articles and stories around the subject of academic freedom in the Arab world.

Academic Freedom Faculty Finances Human Rights Policy

Sudanese Professors Push to Make New Faculty Unions Independent

Amr EL-Tohamy | 06 Jul 2021

Public university professors are electing independent unions to replace the former government-appointed ones. But some are unhappy that the bodies depend on government funding.

Academic Freedom Faculty Profiles Research Social Sciences

Shafeeq Ghabra: A Scholar of the Palestinian Cause Confronts Illness With Research and Hope

Amr EL-Tohamy | 17 Jun 2021

Shafeeq Ghabra chose research and teaching over military, diplomatic and administrative work. His writing sustains him now.

Academic Freedom Faculty Human Rights Politics

Palestine Academic Group Rallies Support for the Palestinian Cause

Amr EL-Tohamy | 25 May 2021

The group, launched by professors two years ago, lobbies governments and fellow academics to defend their homeland’s cause abroad.

Academic Freedom Critical Thinking Faculty Teaching

How Academic Freedom Can Be Enriched in Arab Universities

Mohamed Saad Borghol | 18 May 2021

Academic freedom has been both neglected and misused in the Arab world, says a Tunisian academic. He offers ideas for making it more vital.

Academic Freedom Human Rights Research Social Sciences

One Scholar’s Struggle Between Freedom of Research and Self-Censorship

Taqadum Al-Khatib | 12 May 2021

An Egyptian scholar who studied Jewish history in an Arab society found self-censorship a difficult trap to escape.

Academic Freedom Data & Surveys Democracy Faculty Teaching

Self-Censorship in the University: A Breach of Academic Freedom

Hmaid Ben Aziza | 03 May 2021

In a collective act of self-censorship, many academics today willingly cede the university’s unconditional freedom to investigate all ideas.

Academic Freedom Data & Surveys Democracy Faculty Human Rights

Why Professors in Algeria Have Given Up on Free Academic Inquiry

Fatimah Bakhouch | 22 Apr 2021

Professors in Algeria have learned that it’s best to endorse the conventional wisdom and not ask new questions, a scholar says.

Academic Freedom Data & Surveys Democracy Human Rights Opinion Research Social Sciences

In a Climate of Self-Censorship, Social Research Suffers

Fidaa Bou Haidar | 21 Apr 2021

A new book argues that Arab social scientists limit their teaching and research through self-censorship, producing a “knowledge void.”

Academic Freedom Democracy Faculty Human Rights Teaching

When Self-Censorship Means Self-Protection

Maha Bali | 20 Apr 2021

An Egyptian professor explains the complex motives behind her decision to limit her own freedom of expression.

Academic Freedom Faculty Human Rights Policy Research

Academic Self-Censorship Is a ‘Brain Drag’ on Arab Universities and Societies

Robert Quinn | 18 Apr 2021

Academic self-censorship not only hinders individuals’ intellectual output and creativity but comes at a cost to whole societies.




Copyright © 2018 Al-Fanar Mediaحقوق © 2018 الفنار للإعلام

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Copyright © 2018 Al-Fanar Mediaحقوق © 2018 الفنار للإعلام