The State of Academic Freedom in an Era of Globalized Education

This webinar, sponsored by the University of Minnesota Human Rights Program on Friday, April 22, 2022 features 4 experts whose studies on academic freedom span across the globe. Join Sarah McLaughlin, Dr. Omar Sharifi, Dr. Liviu Matei, Dr. Teng Biao, and moderator Meredith McQuaid for a discussion on this topic of growing importance.

“Transnational repression” is the term used by several reports and scholars to describe how autocracies are using a wide range of tactics to harass, spy, threaten, and intimidate their citizens abroad in order to silence their criticism. In 2021 alone, Scholars at Risk (SAR) - an international network that seeks to protect scholars and promote academic freedom- documented 332 attacks on higher education communities (scholars, students, and staff) in 65 countries. Among those attacks, there were 110 cases of forced disappearance, violence, and killing, 101 cases of imprisonment, and 121 cases involving prosecution, travel bans, and other forms of restriction on free expression and wellbeing. Another common tactic of authoritarian regimes to silence their students and scholars abroad is the use of intimidation, threats, and arrests of their family members.

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