Academic Freedom

Academic Freedom Index

The Academic Freedom Index (AFI) is the result of a collaborative research project coordinated by researchers in Germany and Sweden: Prof. Dr. Staffan Lindberg, director of the V-Dem Institute at the Gothenburg University, Prof. Dr. Katrin Kinzelbach at FAU’s Institute of Political Science,  Dr. Lars Pelke (also FAU), and Janika Spannagel (Free University Berlin). We gratefully acknowledge a five-year grant from the VolkswagenStiftung.

Academic freedom is a human right and a prerequisite for research and innovation. In fact, most countries in the world, 171 in number, have made a legally binding commitment under the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR)  “to respect the freedom indispensable for scientific research and creative activity” (Article 15.3 ICESCR). This de jure obligation should not be confused with the de facto realization of academic freedom. The AFI assesses de facto levels of academic freedom around the world based on five indicators: freedom to research and teach; freedom of academic exchange and dissemination; institutional autonomy; campus integrity; and freedom of academic and cultural expression.

From now on, you will find further information, current analyses, and scientific papers at: