Dancing with the Devil? Notes on a Free University

By Lasse Ekstrand and Monika Wallmon.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Magna Charta Universitatum (1988) states that: ‘The University is an autonomous institution at the heart of societies’. It does not explicitly say what autonomy denotes. However, very clearly, academic freedom is an integral part of an autonomous university: ‘To meet the needs of the world around it, its research and teaching must be morally and intellectually independent of all political authority and intellectually independent of all political authority and economic power.’ At the same time, the role of the university is widely discussed in contemporary Europe. The main changes which affect the current debates on the role of the university are economization, privatisation and internationalisation, which are not direct aims of the Bologna process, but still can be seen as indirect contributions of it (Masschelein and Simons, 2005). What does this actually imply? And what are our reactions to it within the university tradition of academic freedom?

Keywords: Academic Freedom, Autonomy, Critical Theory

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp.171-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 531.046KB).

Dr. Lasse Ekstrand

Senior Lecturer, University of Gävle, Sweden

Dr. Monika Wallmon

Department of Business, Uppsala University, Sweden


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