About the Observatory
GOAF responds to universities' need to effectively pursue the production, transmission and dissemination of knowledge as a public good.
Universities do not control their national regulatory frameworks, and this determines the degree of institutional freedom they enjoy, as well as the professional freedoms of their academics and students, or the limitations on their detractors. Universities can, however, challenge public authorities to create optimal conditions for academic freedom; they can take action, within limits differing from country to country, to document infringements of academic freedom, resist restrictions by governments and regulators, and find ways to promote, assert and protect academic freedom.
As a globally networked platform, GOAF fosters the definition, promotion and defense of academic freedom, while escaping the challenges that come with a national positioning.
GOAF engages in research and advocacy activities at a global level, promoting academic freedom as a cornerstone of higher education and of a democratic society, while helping to formulate a stronger conception of academic freedom for both individuals and institutions.
The Global Observatory on Academic Freedom:
• Connects global scholars with experts in academic freedom and interested audiences
• Fosters debate and discussion of competing concepts and contemporary challenges to academic freedom
• Publishes an annual global report on the state of the field, accompanied by case studies on either positive developments or threats
• Maintains an online repository of relevant resources on academic freedom
• Reflects upon and advances innovative approaches to safeguarding academic freedom