Human Rights and Academic Freedom

A seminar bringing together a broad range of speakers to explore  the issues surrounding human rights and academic freedom from a variety  of perspectives.

Speakers:

Admore Tshuma
Latefa Guemar
Dr Terence Karran

Chair

Dr Julian Huppert MP


In the midst of a tumultuous time for our own university system, CGHR,  CRASSH and CARA host a seminar that seeks to remind us of the greater  challenges faced by those living elsewhere. While funding cuts in the UK may wreak havoc on our work, elsewhere colleagues at the sharp end of  violations of academic freedom suffer persecution, intimidation, mental  abuse and even physical abuse and death. Curbs on academic freedom affect  all scholars, and this seminar hopes to build an awareness of the  difficulties faced by academics around the world, the effect this has on  the pursuit of knowledge, and of the positive steps the international  academic community can take to support colleagues in need.

For over 75 years, the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA)  has assisted refugee academics in the UK to adjust to life in the UK and  pursue their work in a supportive academic environment. The University of  Cambridge has been involved with CARA from its very first days. Many  refugees, helped by CARA, settled in Cambridge and their work has helped  change the world around us. The scientists Max Born, Hans Krebs and Max  Perutz were some of the early academics to arrive at Cambridge and all  were awarded Nobel Prizes for their research. More recently, the  Cambridge Colleges Hospitality Scheme has welcomed Iraqi Visiting  Scholars each year - highlighting their bravery in the face of death  threats and their determination to go back and rebuild their country.
Both CRASSH and CGHR are actively involved with trying to support  scholars at risk in the University today, with the help of CARA and  concerned colleges.

Cambridge's notable tradition of assisting refugee academics and  scholars at risk is a matter of pride but must serve as a foundation for  continued and expanded efforts. This seminar seeks to renew and redouble  efforts within the University to support refugee academics and scholars  at risk today and in the future. By bringing together a broad range of  speakers - encompassing refugee academics, an MP and a British scholar  whose research focuses on academic freedom - this seminar will explore  the issues surrounding human rights and academic freedom from a variety  of perspectives.