Free to Think 2020 analyzes 341 attacks on higher education communities in 58 countries between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. The report draws on data from SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project and identifies trends related to attacks on higher education communities, including violent attacks on campuses in Afghanistan, India, and Yemen; wrongful imprisonments and prosecutions of scholars; restrictions on academic travel, deployed most prominently by authorities in Israel, Turkey, and the United States; pressures on student expression included sustained pressures in Colombia, India, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and South Africa; and legislative and administrative threats to university autonomy, including in Brazil, Ghana, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.

Free to Think 2020 analyzes 341 attacks on higher education communities in 58 countries between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020. The report draws on data from Scholars At Risk’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project and identifies trends related to attacks on higher education communities, including violent attacks on campuses in Afghanistan, India, and Yemen; wrongful imprisonments and prosecutions of scholars; restrictions on academic travel, deployed most prominently by authorities in Israel, Turkey, and the United States; pressures on student expression included sustained pressures in Colombia, India, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and South Africa; and legislative and administrative threats to university autonomy, including in Brazil, Ghana, Poland, Romania, Russia, and Turkey.

Key resource

International human rights law requires States to provide equal access to higher education without discrimination and to ensure the progressive realization of the right to free higher education. Although France outperforms many countries at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on many metrics regarding higher education, there remains significant problems, particularly ensuring equal access for students based on their place of origin. The opportunities students have, are not equal across all regions of France. Part of this inequality can be attributed to the socio-economic status of individual students. However, regional differences operate independently, and can exacerbate socio-economic inequalities, in determining participation in higher education. 

This policy brief shows that the unequal distribution of higher education institutions across the country results in students having to move across regions to access higher education, thus incurring costs (mainly housing and transportation), which are harder to meet for those who do decide to move, due to regional differences in standards of living. Coupled with the stagnation of budget allocation to higher education and the general rise in tuition fees, these indirect costs of education constitute a significant barrier to the enjoyment of the right to free higher education on a non-discriminatory basis.

FRANÇAIS

In 2019, the French Constitutional Court (Conseil Constitutionnel) was seized by student unions and associations regarding public higher education tuition fees concerning international students from outside of the European Union. The plaintiffs argued that under paragraph 13 of the preamble of the French constitution, public higher education should be equally accessible to all and free. The Constitutional Court found that modest tuition fees in public higher education, where appropriate and depending on the financial capacity of students, do not go against the principle of equal access to education and the principle of free higher education. The right to education should ensure that access to higher education is financially possible for every student. Thus, limited tuition fees can be set by legislators under the control of the judicial system. Therefore, the Court states that the right to education of international students to access French public higher education system was not violated.

Les Droits de l’Homme exigent que les États assurent un accès égal à l'enseignement supérieur pour tous sans discrimination, et qu’ils garantissent la réalisation progressive du droit à l’enseignement supérieur gratuit. Malgré le fait que la France dépasse de nombreux pays de l'Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Économique (OCDE) quant à certains indicateurs relatifs à l'enseignement supérieur, des problèmes importants y subsistent. Surtout concernant  la garantie d’accès égal à tous et toutes à l'enseignement supérieur indifféremment de leur lieu d'origine. Les opportunités de formations ne sont pas égales pour les étudiant-es dans toutes les régions de France. Si une partie de cette inégalité peut être attribuée au statut socio-économique des étudiants, les différences entre régions doivent également être prises en compte. En effet, ces différences peuvent agir indépendamment du statut socio-économique et peuvent exacerber les inégalités créées par ce statut, en étant déterminantes dans la scolarisation de certains étudiants au sein de l'enseignement supérieur. 

A travers cette note de positionnement, nous souhaitons démontrer que la répartition inégale des  différentes formations de l’enseignement supérieur à travers le pays oblige les étudiant-es à se déplacer. La mobilité étudiante entraîne ainsi des frais (principalement ceux liés au logement et aux transports), qui sont plus difficiles à supporter pour les étudiant-es qui décident de déménager, notamment en raison de différences régionales de niveau de vie. Associés à la stagnation de l'allocation budgétaire consacré à l'enseignement supérieur et à l'augmentation générale des frais de scolarité, ces frais indirects de l'éducation constituent un obstacle important du droit à jouir d’un enseignement supérieur gratuit sur une base non discriminatoire.

ENGLISH

Around the world, higher education communities are overwhelmed by frequent attacks on scholars, students, staff, and their institutions. State and non-state actors, including armed militant and extremist groups, police and military forces, government authorities, off-campus groups, and even members of higher education communities, among others, carry out these attacks, which often result in deaths, injuries, and deprivations of liberty. Beyond their harm to the individuals and institutions directly targeted, these attacks undermine entire higher education systems, by impairing the quality of teaching, research, and discourse on campus and constricting society’s space to think, question, and share ideas. Ultimately, they impact all of us, by damaging higher education’s unique capacity to drive the social, political, cultural, and economic development from which we all benefit.

Through its Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, Scholars at Risk (SAR) responds to these attacks by identifying and tracking key incidents, with the aim of protecting vulnerable individuals, raising awareness, encouraging accountability, and promoting dialogue and understanding that can help prevent future threats. Since 2015, SAR has been publishing Free to Think, a series of annual reports analyzing attacks on higher education communities around the world.

Free to Think 2021 documents 332 attacks on higher education communities in 65 countries and territories. This year was marked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than five million lives. For higher education, the pandemic continued to disrupt academic activity, keeping many institutions in remote states of operation and suspending most academic travel. For scholars and students, the pandemic also continued to raise questions, concerns, and criticisms about state responses to public health crises, government accountability, and societal inequities. Scholars and students took on these issues in the classroom and more public venues, in-person and online, asserting their academic freedom and their rights to freedoms of expression and assembly. They also responded to acute and more long-standing political conflicts, from Myanmar’s coup to the steady erosion of human rights in Turkey, demanding civilian led government and the protection of fundamental freedoms. Frequently, however, individuals and groups opposed to their questions and ideas sought to silence them.

 هذا المحتوى يعرض الإطار الدولي لحقوق الإنسان الذي يشير صراحة إلى الحق في التعليم العالي.

ENGLISH

FRANÇAIS

Ce document énumère les instruments internationaux et régionaux qui font référence au droit à l'enseignement supérieur.
 

ENGLISH

اللغة العربية

This document lists the international and regional instruments that refer to the right to higher education.

 

FRANÇAIS

اللغة العربية

Key resource

L’Enseignement Supérieur français est-il vraiment accessible à toutes et tous, sans discrimination ? Quels sont les impacts de la privatisation croissante de l’Enseignement Supérieur sur le droit à l'accès à l’enseignement supérieur et à un enseignement de qualité pour toutes et tous ? 

Le présent document se focalisant sur l’impact des inégalités en fonction du lieu de résidence des étudiant·e·s, des coûts indirects des études et de la privatisation dans la réalisation du droit à l’Enseignement Supérieur en France, il illustre les défis liés à la réalisation du droit à l’Enseignement Supérieur, y compris pour un pays comme la France, qui pourrait, a priori, être considéré comme un exemple.  Un éclairage est fait sur les obligations juridiques de la France et ses éventuels manquements, notamment au regard du financement de l’Enseignement Supérieur.

ENGLISH

Páginas