Global Observatory on Academic Freedom

Global Observatory on Academic Freedom

The Global Observatory on Academic Freedom, a project supported by the Open Society University Network (OSUN), aims to conduct rigorous, innovative and pertinent scientific research aspiring to respond to the urgent need of rethinking the concept of academic freedom, a concept whose crisis we are witnessing throughout the world. New times pose new challenges, theoretical as much as empiric, and GOAF will seek to stimulate the debate, connect the interested stakeholders and reflect upon possible pathways vital to the preservation of academic freedom and democratic societies.

About GOAF

GOAF responds to the need of universities to effectively pursue their duty of producing, transmitting and disseminating knowledge as a public good. Universities do not control their national regulatory frameworks, and this determines the degree of their institutional freedom and the professional freedoms of their academics and students, or the limitations on their distractors. They can, however, challenge public authorities to create conditions for academic freedom, they can take action, within limits that differ from country to country, to document infringements of academic freedom, resist restrictive attempts by governments and regulators, and find ways to promote, assert and protect academic freedom. As a globally networked platform, GOAF furthers the efforts of defining, promoting and defending academic freedom, while escaping the challenges that come with a national positioning.


Promoting academic freedom as a cornerstone of higher education and of a democratic society, while addressing the need for better formulation of the concept of academic freedom on the individual and institutional level, GOAF engages in research and advocacy activities at a global level.


The Global Observatory on Academic Freedom

  • Connects global scholars with expertise and interest in academic freedom
  • Opens the space for debate and discussion on competing concepts and challenges to academic freedom in today’s world
  • Publishes a yearly global report on the state of the field, accompanied by several case studies on positive developments or threats and infringements
  • Maintains an online repository of relevant resources on academic freedom
  • Reflects upon and advances innovative approaches to safeguarding academic freedom



Opportunities at GOAF


Partner organizations

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