Resolution on: Safeguarding Academic Freedoms in Higher Education and Research

published 23 September 2019 updated 23 September 2019

The 8th Education International (EI) World Congress, meeting in Bangkok in July 2019, notes that:

(1) Research and the distribution of knowledge should be free. To achieve this we must have freedom of initiative and freedom to carry out research while also ensuring educational freedom and the independence of lecturer-researchers and researchers who we must protect from a variety of pressures. The very nature of democracy makes scientific knowledge a global public good. Higher education and research (HER) can only help build a better future for humanity and develop in the interests of human societies if academic freedoms are safeguarded within a publicly funded university system.

(2) To ensure the freedoms necessary to the proper development of research, we must secure better working conditions for researchers, lecturer-researchers, engineers and technicians, and all scientific staff in general. These better working conditions entail stable jobs, decent salaries and public funding budgets that make it possible for workers to fulfil their duties.

(3) The resolutions of the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa in July 2015, saw EI reiterating and reaffirming its commitment with regard to the issues facing higher education and research, in particular free access (open access) to published knowledge, in addition to climate change and lack of tenure in HER, for which it made a case to the International Labour Organization.

(4) The 8th Education International Congress mandates the EI Executive Board to:

(i) intensify international campaigns focusing on higher education and research, in particular those focused on defending academic freedoms and(ii) develop partnerships with other international trade union organisations and NGOs, in particular those regardful of the environment, for the purposes of building global mobilisation around these freedoms essential to the enlightened development of knowledge and to its democratisation through universal and unrestricted sharing.