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Academic Freedom

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Academic Freedom

Academic freedom is the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference or restriction from law, institutional regulations, or public pressure.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 2015)


[The] basic elements [of academic freedom] include the freedom of teachers to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate. For students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them and to form conclusions for themselves and express their opinions.

(Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 2015)

Controversy has arisen concerning whether the claims of academic institutions and individual faculty for special rights and freedoms bring obligations as well. For example, some have argued that universities should not take overtly political stands or become enmeshed, as institutions, in political debates or movements. It is claimed that institutions, and to some extent individual academics, have a responsibility to remain out of direct conflicts in order to provide the best objective analysis.

(Altbach 2001, 207)



Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. "Academic Freedom." Accessed June 27, 2015,

Altbach, Philip G. "Academic freedom: International realities and challenges." Higher Education 41, no. 1-2 (2001): 205-219.


Page Created by: James Ban on 29 June 2015.

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