Freedom shrinks in

Freedom shrinks in the Academy

Freedom shrinks in College 2017-09-26 academic freedom diminishes in several European countries

It shows annual measurements in international research cooperation V them.

Sweden is well located in their measurements.

But when it comes to institutional freedom we end up among the worse in Europe.

Researchers ‘ freedom to choose research problems, to publish and comment on the earnings decreases in Europe.

“we see a marked deterioration over the last few years in Hungary, Poland, Macedonia, Serbia and the Czech Republic. This applies not only to academic freedom.

Also, for example, freedom of expression, freedom of Association and media freedom is limited, says Staffan Lindberg, professor of political science at the University of Gothenburg. He is one of four principal investigators in Varieties of Democracy, V-Them, a major international collaborative research that measures democracy based on a number of different indicators. The researchers have gone back to the year 1900 and made estimates for each year, until today. An indicator measuring the academic freedom. The measurements are presented in a five-point scale, where zero means that there is no academic freedom at all, and four that it is comprehensive.

— in Poland has a rating in recent years fallen from near four to 3.5, in Macedonia from near four to two, and in Serbia and Hungary from fy RA to three.

Czech Republic is close to three. Unwanted focus Hungary attracted attention earlier this year when the Government introduced a new law that threatened the Central European University, CEU. The University was founded in Budapest after the fall of communism 1991 by the Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros; however, registered in the United States CEU and is the only one of 27 foreign universities in Hungary, which do not have a branch at home.

It is a requirement under the new law. The writing got massive criticism because it was seen as aimed directly at CEU. The insistence of the own political group in the EU Parliament backed prime minister Orban and writes about the law. “I don’t think the last word is said. . There is an agenda. Orban would like to have a kind of “democracy” but a series of fundamental rights and freedoms. CEU is a liberal bastion that orubbat is on the Democratic side. The University is the most independent in the country because it is funded by the Soros. Under tryckI Turkey is academic freedom near zero after lying at 3 as recently as 2008. Where have the hunt for opposition largely befallen the University – which has been closed down – and researchers – who have been dismissed or even jailed. Even in the United States have seen a slight decline of academic freedom in the last two years. The decline is not statistically significant. “but follows news reports, one can note that Trump attacking evidence-based knowledge. On the State level, there are examples to draw down funding for the Academy. In Wisconsin have state leadership abolished the permanent employment for scientists and given universities ‘ boards the right to sack professor for almost nothing. Helene Hellmark Knutsson who is minister for research and higher education, thinks the trend is worrying.

“it’s not so many years ago that we saw the triumph of democracy over the world.

Now we see a tendency in the other direction.

. It is alarming. Academic freedom is a cornerstone of democracy. We call attention to it through the European Commission with regard to EU member countries. Deficiencies in Sweden Sweden is almost at the top of the V-Dems measurements. But also there are shortcomings. Foundation Academic Rights Watch that monitors academic freedom in Sweden last year documented more than 20 cases. They acted, inter alia, restrictions on the freedom of speech. “we’ve seen hundreds of cases in Sweden since the beginning in 2014, approximately the same amount all year. But we see only the tip of the iceberg, “said Erik j.

. Olsson professor of theoretical philosophy at Lund University and a founder of the Foundation. Academic Rights Watch monitors also including universities ‘ freedom in relation to the State. It is less in Sweden than in many other countries, according to Erik j. . Olsson, referring to a British study published in June. In it, the researcher Terence Karran and employees over legislation in the 27 EU member countries concerning, inter alia, the freedom to research and teach, autonomy from the State, the collegiate rule and job security. Sweden will at first on the scene 23 out of 28, but before, among others, Hungary, Denmark and the United Kingdom. In top Croatia Bulgaria Spain and ports, followed by Germany and Austria. rektorDet Swedish Government appoints the result is influenced by the fact that freedom of education is not regulated in the Constitution.

It also has great significance for the Government to appoint principal and the majority of the members of the universities ‘ boards of Directors.

— According to State universities and colleges formally authorities.

The Government appoints the heads of Government.

But it has never happened to another principal hired than the University’s Board has proposed, “said Helene Hellmark Knutsson. Staffan lindeberg, however, think the system should set more sustainable. ” it is wrong in principle that the Government appoints the Chairman and the majority of boards.

In a changing political situation, the State authority that would limit academic freedom gear to do it. . Autonomy did not increase the frihetenAutonomireformen introduced in June 2011 meant more autonomy for universities.

But for scientists, it has led to loss of liberty with less of collegial governance, according to Mats Ericsson, who is President of the Swedish Association of university teachers and researchers, Sulf.

He says he “does not see any that have increased the academic freedom of the individual researchers in the last ten years. ” – the funding system has reduced freedom.

The proportion of free vehicles, base appropriations, have fallen. The politicians have made major investments in priority areas, which means that other deprioritized. Often should the President decide who can apply for funding.  Overall, the steering is greater today when it comes to who can do what.

Text: Siv Engelmark Photo: Zoltan Balogh .

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