Academic Freedom

Academic freedom by definition is the belief that the freedom of inquiry by faculty members is essential to the mission of the academy as well as the principles of academia, and that scholars should have freedom to teach or communicate ideas or facts (including those that are inconvenient to external political groups or to authorities) without being targeted for repression, job loss, or imprisonment. My writing is gonna emphasise on the bolded part of the definition.

According to University and College Union, academic freedom include the right(s) to

  • freedom in teaching and discussion;
  • freedom in carrying out research without commercial or political interference;
  • freedom to disseminate and publish one’s research findings;
  • freedom from institutional censorship, including the right to express one’s opinion publicly about the institution or the education system in which one works; and
  • freedom to participate in professional and representative academic bodies, including trade unions.

 

It is undeniable that in this country academic freedom is almost non-existence. There is a degree of freedom but when it comes to ideas or opinions and such that are inconvenient to policy of the ruling party, then academic freedom is just a nuisance. This is not an ideal state in a free and democratic society. The academic community should be given full freedom to conduct researches and to publish the results of those researches regardless of it being convenient or not. When the academic community aren’t given full freedom to conduct research and to publish the results of their research due to it being inconvenient to a certain group of people’s interest, then who are going to point out flaws made? The people are being fooled into thinking that all policies made are perfect because no one (especially the academic community) says anything against it. How could the academic community says anything against your policy if doing so would result in adverse effect upon them? How would they dare say anything if doing so may risk them their jobs?  Or worse losing their freedom?

If you say that their research and result is undermining democracy, you should first bear in mind that democracy isn’t a perfect concept. Once people thought that aristocracy is the ideal way then they opted for democracy. Democracy isn’t perfect. How can we see the flaws in the system if you won’t allow results of research that is against democracy to be published? (Note here that I am not anti democracy and that I am merely using democracy as an example). How could we see the flaws in anything be it systems or policies if freedom of academic isn’t upheld? How could we learn from mistakes if mistakes aren’t allowed to be pointed out? You charge people who you deemed demining democracy yet you championed and uphold laws that are clearly against the concept of freedom and democracy itself!

There are no perfect systems or policies in the world and it is the job, nay responsibility of the academic community to point out their flaws. Freedom of academic is a right and not a privilege. Governments around the world should champion this right as it is essential to the development and betterment of the human race.

What was written is my opinion and as a human being, I make mistakes. I am open to opinions, critics and disagreement.

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