Academic Freedom Index Update 2023

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Today, the Academic Freedom Index (AFI) project presents its Update 2023, providing an overview of the state of academic freedom in 179 countries. The AFI is coordinated by researchers at the University of Gothenburg’s V-Dem Institute and the Institute of Political Science at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). At FAU, Katrin Kinzelbach and Lars Pelke contribute to the AFI. The German Volkswagen Foundation funds the project for a total of five years.

The decline in academic freedom affects over 50% of the world’s population, approximately 4 billion people. The Index identifies 22 countries where universities and scholars experience significantly less academic freedom today than they did ten years ago. This includes democratic systems as well as autocratic countries. During the same period, academic freedom levels have only improved in five small countries, benefiting a mere 0.7% of the world’s population.

Please also visit the new website: where you will find an interactive visualization of the data, country profiles, and information on the index project. Easy-to-use graphing tools are also available for anyone interested.