Conflicting paths: university autonomy and academic freedom in the European Higher Education Area
Seminar - Wednesday November, 28th
The period after 1999–2000 is one of unprecedented developments in the European higher education. They are often diverging, occasionally conflicting. In the area of governance, there is a marked difference in the evolution of institutional autonomy compared to academic freedom: fast and mainly progressive changes in autonomy, slow and rather regressive changes in academic freedom, both at the conceptual level and in practice; a powerful and consequential European model of university autonomy has emerged; academic freedom has been neglected; advances in institutional autonomy often came at the expense of academic freedom; a dominant instrumental approach to higher education governance leaves little or no room for consideration of moral and rights aspects. A case needs to be made for the development of a European reference for academic freedom, to support monitoring of infringements and action to address them.