Athens, 27 April 2018
ACA-IKY Seminar: Internationalisation and academic freedom
International cooperation in education or any other field, in all its beauty, was never without its perils. Crises of different kinds and magnitudes are part and parcel of moving globally and out of one’s own yard. Despite decades of dynamic international activity of Europe’s higher education institutions (HEIs), there seems to be a recently renewed need for discussion and exchange of information about crisis management in higher education. HEIs are looking for the right approaches in dealing with crisis situations, in an attempt to move beyond immediate, ad hoc responses towards a more strategic approach at the institutional level.
In many European countries, but also across the globe, there are strong populist, anti-intellectual and ultra-conservative tendencies. In not a few cases, ultra-conservative and populist parties are part of or even lead government coalitions and have an impact on government policies. Often, this has a - usually restrictive - impact on academic freedom. In some cases, the jobs and even the lives of scholars and professors are at risk. But there appear to be also populist governments that do not interfere too much in higher education, either because the ministry of education has successfully resisted efforts of interference from the governments’ top leadership, or because there are strong legal or even constitutional barriers guaranteeing academic freedom.
We, ACA and its Greek member IKY, are concerned about the present trends and have therefore decided to jointly organise a seminar on the issue. Internationalisation and academic freedom, as the event is entitled, will explore the relationship between populism, anti-intellectualism, authoritarian government and anti-elitist tendencies on the one hand, and higher education in general and academic freedom and internationalisation in particular, on the other. Is there evidence that populist governments (always) pursue anti-international policies, reduce funding and programmes for international mobility and projects, and discourage universities and colleges to engage in internationalisation? Are critical scholars and students at risk of losing their jobs, being persecuted or imprisoned or, rather, where is this the case? These are two key questions on the seminar agenda. Another one is how higher education institutions and internationalisation agencies (like IKY and their counterparts in other countries with functioning democracies) should respond to countries and universities which restrict academic freedom. Should they suspend cooperation with these countries and their higher education sector or should they reinforce it, as a sign of solidarity with the threatened academics and in the hope that continued cooperation will ‘infect’ the problematic countries with a ‘democracy virus’?
In their choice of speakers, moderators, and panellists, ACA and IKY have remained loyal to their long-term policy: only the best! All our speakers, from Greece, the rest of Europe and the US, are highly reputed experts of international renown. On top of this, they are very good orators.
Thursday, 26 April, 19:30
|19:30 Welcome dinner at Aegli Zappiou|
Friday, 27 April
|09:00||Short welcome addresses
Kyriakos Athanasiou, President of the Administrative Board of IKY and Emeritus Professor at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and Ulrich Grothus, ACA President and Deputy Secretary General, DAAD
Academic freedom: A continuously contemporary topic
Kostas Gavroglu, Hellenic Minister of Education, Research and Religious Affairs
Populism, anti-intellectualism and threats to the academic freedom and the life and well-being of academics
Sijbolt Noorda, President Magna Charta Observatory, former President of ACA, Amsterdam
|Internationalism, cosmopolitism, intellectualism and ‘elites’ at risk?|
|10:45||Why the world is no longer flat
Allan Goodman, CEO of the Institute of International Education (IIE), NYC
|11:25||Do populism, anti-intellectualism and authoritarian tendencies pose a threat to internationalisation in higher education? A panel discussion
Chair: Ulrich Grothus, see above
Marijk van der Wende, Distinguished Professor for Higher Education, Utrecht University
Allan Goodman, see above
Dana Petrova, Director General, Centre for International Cooperation in Education (DZS), Prague
|12:30||Cosmopolitanism, critical theory and academic freedom
Costas Douzinas, Professor of Law and Philosophy, Birkbeck, University of London and Founding Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities
|14:30||Globalisation contested – internationalisation challenged
Marijk van der Wende, see above
|15:10||Bio-ethics, a compass for the future. Its relationship to academic freedom and its role in the internationalisation of higher education
Ioannis Economidis, former Scientific Officer, EU Commission, Brussels
|15:50||How shall national agencies as well as universities deal with ‘difficult countries’?
A panel discussion
Chair: Stefan Zotti, ACA Vice-president and Director General, Österreichischer Austauschdienst (OeAD), Vienna
Alenka Flander, Director General, CMEPIUS, Ljubljana
Olivier Tschopp, Director, Movetia, Solothurn, Switzerland
Christian Müller, Director Strategy, DAAD, Bonn
Katrin Kiisler, Head of Higher Education Section, Archimedes Foundation, Tallinn
Vincenzo Ribi, Deputy Head of International Relations, Swissuniversities, Bern
|17:10||End of the seminar|
Allan E. Goodman
Marijk van der Wende
More information here.
Ballroom meeting room
18-20 N. NIKODIMOU STR.,
GR-10557 – ATHENS