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Academic Freedom

In the context of re-emerging patterns of student repression (in countries like Belarus, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, France, Italy, etc.), and the increased focus on monitoring and implementing the fundamental values from the European community, we realise the need to support the advocacy and capacity building of the student movement on academic freedom and freedom of expression.

Therefore, the objectives of the project will be to engage the opinion of students and student activists on the definition and implementation of the fundamental values and to offer different mechanisms of action, training and networking.

The project’s ultimate objectives are to:

  • Provide further legitimacy to ESU’s contribution to policy discussions and decisions regarding fundamental values at the European level;
  • Recognise the work of student activists on the local and national levels and enable future actions.

Through this 1-year and half project, we aim at:

  • Mapping of students’ awareness of and involvement with academic freedom and other fundamental values to identify measurable indicators and support evidence-based advocacy and policy-making;
  • Offering training opportunities to:

1) Build capacity of student representatives at various levels to advocate for academic freedom, institutional autonomy, and academic integrity;

2) Enable collaboration, networking, and joining of forces for common goals;

3) Recognise and support student activist organisations‘ efforts to defend academic freedom.

To reach this aim, we would like to propose a series of activities:

  • Creating a Task Force on Academic Freedom in ESU;
  • Disseminating an easy-to-use survey to the student population, local NUSes and ESU’s NUSes to assess the level of understanding and engagement on Academic Freedom, Institutional Autonomy and Academic Integrity;
  • Organising training seminars in cooperation with partners (SaR, SAIH, Amnesty, Council of Europe, Global Student Forum).


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