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Academic freedom

Intellectual freedom is a fundamental prerequisite for all truth-seeking business and for all artistic creation, and it is important for safeguarding and strengthening democracy. Academic freedom must therefore be a normative right.

The individual and institutional academic freedom established by law in the Universities and University Colleges Act must also be complied with in practice. Collegial bodies with influence over academic matters and priorities are crucial for safeguarding institutional independence. Individual academic freedom gives academic staff the freedom to ask questions, to choose materials and methods in their research and teaching work and to publish research results.

The trend towards increased external funding is putting academic freedom under stronger pressure. Obstacles to real academic freedom are often experienced in the form of a lack of resources and time or uncertainty about future funding and employment. Ensuring academic freedom in practice presumes that both the institution and the individual employees are given the conditions and freedom of action to be able to fulfil their social responsibilities in a manner that ensures quality and legitimacy.

NAR will strive to ensure that:

  • Legally-mandated academic freedom is observed in practice in the higher education sector.
  • Research institutes, health trusts and the archive, library and museum sector incorporate the principle of academic freedom in their regulations and planning documents.
  • Research institutes with governmental basic funding comply with the intentions regarding academic freedom in the Research Council’s guidelines.
  • The standard contract for research projects and studies is used for the projects for which it has been adapted, by both public and private clients.
  • The work of the Research Ethics Committees is strengthened and further developed.

The Norwegian Association of Researchers: Work program 2016–2018

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