Academic Freedom Index 2020 | UPSC

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Academic Freedom Index 2020 _ UPSC

Academic Freedom Index 2020 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

Academia and the free will

      WHY IN NEWS:

India’s dismal score on the Academic Freedom Index (AFI) reflects the issues plaguing the country’s education system

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Reports

      LEARNING: 

For PRELIMS it is important to remember the publisher and the key parameters or methodology and its calculation .

For MAINS this is an important report for you to compare global universities . Note down the key recommendations and give a thought about it . Let us dive in !

      ISSUE: 

Plenty of universities and states have committed to safeguarding academic freedom, yet it remains under attack in many places.

  • Academic freedom is fundamental to scientific progress, the pursuit of truth, research collaboration, and quality higher education.

The Academic Freedom Index (AFi) provides manifold opportunities for research.

  • It provides opportunity for policy debates among government officials, parliamentarians, research funders, university administrators, academics, students, and advocates alike.

ACADEMIC FREEDOM INDEX 2020

  • The AFi aims to inform stakeholders, provide monitoring yardsticks, alter incentive structures and challenge university rankings.

AFi focuses on facilitating research and ultimately promote academic freedom.

  • AFi scores are based on expert assessments by 1,810 scholars around the world which are integrated in a Bayesian measurement model.

TITLE 

FREE UNIVERSITIES : Putting the Academic Freedom Index Into Action

PUBLISHED BY

Report is the result of a collaborative effort between researchers at:

  • Friedrich Alexander University (FAU)
  • V-Dem Institute
  • Risk Network
  • Global Public Policy Institute.

REPORT OBJECTIVES

  • Inform Stakeholders
  • Provide Monitoring Yardsticks
  • Alter Incentive Structures
  • Challenge University Rankings
  • Facilitate Research
  • Promote Academic Freedom.

REPORT ANALYSIS

METHODOLOGY

The new Academic Freedom Index is composed of five expert-coded indicators.

These determinants capture key elements in the de facto realization of academic freedom:

  1. Freedom to research and teach
  2. Freedom of academic exchange and dissemination
  3. Institutional autonomy
  4. Campus integrity
  5. Freedom of academic and cultural expression.

OTHER COMPLEMENTING DETERMINANTS USED

  • Constitutional support
  • International levels
  • Whether universities have ever existed in a given country.

A GLOBAL OVERVIEW

  • A total of 35 countries, depicted in grey on the map, did not meet the minimum coder threshold for 2019.

Academic Freedom Index 2020 | UPSC

SOURCES : AFi Report 2020

  • Across the whole published dataset (1900–2019), country-years that did not meet a threshold of at least three coders for a particular indicator were omitted to ensure data quality.
  • Its global average remains at a moderate level today.

All the indicators suggest a substantial global drop in levels of academic freedom during World War II .

  • There is a steep overall increase with the third wave of democratization in the early 1990s.

GLOBAL TRENDS IN COMPONENTS OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM, 1900–2019

Academic Freedom Index 2020 | UPSC

SOURCES : AFi Report 2020

SIGNIFICANCE

  • Advocacy groups may use AFi data to challenge states to meet their international and domestic legal and policy commitments to respect and promote academic freedom.
  • University leaders may use AFi data domestically when advocating for material and policy support for their institutions and their national higher education system.

The report is aimed at increasing protection for scholars, students, institutions, and academic freedom overall. 

  • AFi data is to shape dialogue, combat misinformation, and mobilize support for policy recommendations .

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • AFi data can provide a basis for international academic freedom monitoring mechanisms.
  • Higher education policy-makers must respond to declining AFi scores.
  • Higher education authorities should use AFi data to assess the trajectory of their own work by reviewing AFi indicators over time .
  • AFi can help diplomats to understand and react to changing levels and violations of academic freedom.

Diplomats may also use relative changes in AFi data over time to evaluate states’ adherence to their respective commitments. 

  • Diplomatic representatives at the United Nations could use AFi data to report on their countries’ record on academic freedom.
  • Diplomats can refer to AFi data when making recommendations to other states in multilateral fora.
  • Diplomats and government representatives should express concerns over these violations and raise them bilaterally with the host government.
  • AFi data can help detect softer forms of repression in the university sector – long before individual academics fear for their lives.

OVERALL RANKING

Academic Freedom Index 2020 | UPSC

OVERALL RANKING | SOURCES : AFi Report 2020

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • Regular iterations of the index will help advocacy groups demonstrate trends and evaluate the effectiveness of enacted policy reforms.
  • AFi data can help to support the link between academic freedom and quality higher education and research.

Researchers can use AFi data to answer research questions related to academic freedom and violations thereof.

  • AFi data can also be used to start a debate on academic freedom at one’s home institution.
  • The AFi can help researchers and graduate students to assess the level of academic freedom before embarking on fieldwork.
  • The AFi can inform individual students and researchers in their decisions about where to apply for academic jobs, study, or spend a semester abroad.
SUGGESTED READING : AFI VS NEP 2020 
     SOURCES:  THE HINDU  | Academic Freedom Index 2020 | UPSC

 

DISCOVER MORE : REPORTS

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