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Scholars at Risk

An international network for threatened researchers

Lund University has been a member of Scholars at Risk (SAR) since 2014. SAR is a network of over 500 member universities in 42 countries that supports and defends the principles of academic freedom and defends human rights for researchers around the world. The network supports threatened researchers by arranging sanctuaries at the member universities.

Visit the SAR website for more information

Watch the movie about SAR on YouTube

In Sweden, 21 higher education institutions are members of SAR and SAR-Sweden meets approximately once per semester to exchange experiences and plan joint activities. At Lund University, there are currently two threatened researchers.

Threatened researchers can apply to Sweden and Lund University by contacting Scholars at Risk via

Scholars at Risk and Academic Freedom
– a webinar series

Under attack: Academic freedom in Asia

A webinar on 21 April 2021 – 10:00-11:30

Academic freedom and what it means for society is not only receiving increased attention but is also increasingly under attack. In the Academic Freedom Index (2020), covering 175 countries, the Asian region scores relatively low with Thailand, China and Laos on the lowest level (E). Countries that are higher ranked, like Indonesia (B), however also experiences threats such as censorship and bans on controversial topics at universities. This webinar will look closer at infringements on academic freedom in East, South and South-East Asia, and discuss protections and promotion of academic freedom.

The webinar is co-convened by Asia Centre, the Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies at Lund University and Scholars at Risk Sweden at Lund University.

More information is available on the webinar website

Link to registration (Google form)

Aspects of academic freedom in Africa

A webinar on 28 April at 12:00-13:00

Academic freedom has been identified to find its way back to African universities after its complete roll-back during the post-independence era. At the same time, academic freedom is violated or challenged and cannot be taken for granted. To what extent are academic activities free in Africa today and how does this affect African universities, students and staff?

This webinar will discuss academic freedom in Africa before, during and after Covid-19 as well as militarisation and de-elitisation of academia in Rwanda. The webinar is arranged by the Lund University Africa Strategy Group.


  • Prof. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua, School of Law, University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana.
  • Dr. Noel Twagiramungu, Boston University, USA.

Link to programme and registration  

Protecting student expression globally – a roundtable discussion

An evening webinar 19 May at 19:00.

Students' right to organise and to voice opinion is an integral part of higher education. Still, in many parts of the world students’ freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to education are threatened. State and institutional actors – including universities – restrict and attack student expression through the use of force, coercive and disciplinary actions. 

Target group: Mainly students, but also staff at LU.

The panel will consist of students and scholars involved in the protection and promotion of student expression across the globe.

Read more about global threats to student expression in Scholars at Risk’s 2020 report “Free to think” 

Co-organiser: The Association of Foreign Affairs in Lund – UPF.

Link to registration will be available closer to the seminar.

Academic freedom globally

In 2020, the UN General Assembly received a report on academic freedom from David Keye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Download the report from the UN website

Watch the presentation “Freedom of Opinion and Expression and Academic Freedom” on YouTube

EU Research Ministers adopted in October 2020 a declaration on the important role of governments in protecting the freedom of scientific research, and in protecting academic freedom in the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) as well as in the European Research Area (ERA).

Read the report “Bonn Declaration on Freedom of Scientific Research” on the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's own website


Pär Svensson
International coordinator
+46 46 222 77 42
par [dot] svensson [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se

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