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Follow-up conference ”Protecting the fundamental values of higher education and research in the 21st century: conceptualisation, codification, monitoring, practice”

The School of Education, Communication and Society organized an event on 9th May 2024 that brought together some of the most important organisations and agencies that are currently engaged in academic freedom and related values and principles.

The first two decades of the 21st century brought about significant challenges to the fundamental values of higher education in all parts of the world. At the same time, in particular after 2015, a series of powerful efforts to address these challenges has emerged as well at the national, regional, and global level, mostly independently, in developing, updating, or refining frameworks of reference for academic freedom, freedom of research, institutional autonomy, academic integrity, and related concepts, values and principles.

These frameworks include new or updated (shared) conceptual references for these values and principles (more than just simple definitions); norms (sometimes including legislation); guidelines for implementation, protection and promotion; and monitoring tools and mechanisms.

This event convenes those currently engaged in such transformative endeavours, in an effort to facilitate mutual information about their work.
Introductory remarks were given by Prof Michael Mainelli, Lord Mayor of the City of London.

Event Programme
12.30-13.00 | Arrival of participants, light lunch
13.00-13.30 | Introduction and Welcome address
Introduction: Prof Liviu Matei, King’s College London; Global Observatory on Academic Freedom
Welcome address: Prof Michael Mainelli, Lord Mayor of the City of London
13.30-14.45 | Panel 1: Global perspectives
  • Mr David John Lock, Secretary General, Magna Charta Universitatum Observatory (moderator)
  • Dr. Whitfield Green, Chief Executive Officer, Council on Higher Education of South Africa
  • Dr Gabriela Ramos, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO
  • Dr.Vivi Stavrou, Executive Secretary of the Committee for Freedom and Responsibility in Science, International Science Council
  • Denise Roche, Advocacy Manager, Scholars at Risk Europe
14.45-15.00 | Health break (refreshments served for in person participants)
15.00-16.00 | Panel 2: European perspectives
  • Dr. Cezar Haj, Co-Chair, Working Group on the Fundamental Values of Higher education, European Higher Education Area (moderator)
  • Dr. Valentina Musso, Consultant – Public Policy Consultant at ICF S.A., Protecting Fundamental Academic Values Project of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture; European Commission
  • Prof. Liviu Matei, Global Observatory on Academic Freedom; King’s College London, School of Education, Communication and Society
The event recording can be accessed above or via the ECS Youtube channel.

The event was organised and hosted by the Global Observatory on Academic Freedom at King's College London, being endorsed by the "New building blocks of the Bologna Process: fundamental values (NewFAV)" project, coordinated by UEFISCDI and implemented in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, with funding support from the European Commission.

The project is supported by the European University Association (EUA), the European Student Union (ESU), the Network of Universities in European Capitals (UNICA) and the German Service for Academic Exchanges (DAAD).

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