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Academic freedom in Europe: time for a Magna Charta?

By Terence Karran

Abstract

This paper is a preliminary attempt to establish a working definition of academic freedom for the European Union states. The paper details why such a definition is required for the European Union and then examines some of the difficulties of defining academic freedom. By drawing upon experience of the legal difficulties beset by the concept in the USA and building on previous analyses of constitutional and legislative protection for academic freedom, and of legal regulations concerning institutional governance and academic tenure, a working definition of academic freedom is then derived. The resultant definition which, it is suggested, could form the basis for a European Magna Charta Libertatis Academicae, goes beyond traditional discussions of academic freedom by specifying not only the rights inherent in the concept but also its accompanying duties, necessary limitations and safeguards. The paper concludes with proposals for how the definition might be tested and carried forward

Topics: X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1057/hep.2009.2
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lincoln.ac.uk:1611

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