Sweden, January 24 – published
The government has instructed the Swedish Higher Education Authority to conduct case studies on academic freedom. The aim is to create a culture of free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and a deep understanding of the work of universities and institutions of higher education in promoting and protecting academic freedom.
Freedom of study is already regulated in the Swedish constitution and the Higher Education Act. From 1 July 2021, the Higher Education Act states that academic freedom must be promoted and protected in the activities of higher education institutions. Leaders of higher education institutions have a responsibility to prioritize and maintain a culture of free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge.
“The strength of academia lies in its unbiased pursuit of new knowledge. Therefore, researchers and teachers should be able to ask controversial questions and present unexpected results. It is very difficult if researchers and educators are excluded from scientific discourse because of their choice of words or subject matter. To gain a better understanding of the situation in higher education institutions, the government is now instructing the Swedish Higher Education Authority to conduct an in-depth study on academic freedom, said Education Minister Matt Persson.
In 2023, the Swedish Higher Education Authority should conduct case studies in 2023 to gain a deeper understanding of the work of universities and higher education institutions in promoting and protecting academic freedom. A culture of higher education law and the free pursuit and dissemination of knowledge. The authority is going to compile a report on the work done by higher education institutions in promoting and protecting academic freedom and the culture of freely pursuing and imparting knowledge. The report will include a national summary and an international perspective.
The report on the case studies is due by 15 February 2024 and the report on other cases is due by 15 May 2024.
The issue of academic freedom came to the fore in the second half of last year in the Swedish higher education institutions’ debate on ‘delete culture’.