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Academic freedom in 2017

UK academics believe they have worse levels of protection of academic freedom, compared to colleagues in other EU countries, says a report looking at academic freedom. The report by Professor Terence Karran of the University of Lincoln also reveals that a quarter of UK academics (23%) say they have been subjected to bullying by colleagues because of their views. The wide-ranging report was commissioned by UCU as part of its efforts to better define what academic freedom means and to ensure it is better protected.

The report includes surveys of UCU members and academics from the other 27 EU member states. Just two-fifths of UK academics (42%) said they felt they had an adequate working knowledge of the concept of academic freedom. Academic freedom is clearly important to academics though as four-fifths of (81%) said they wanted more information on the concept of academic freedom.