Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Academic Freedom as Fundamental Right
Roberto Cippitani

Last modified: 10-06-2015


The paper aims at define the concept of academic freedom in particular in the context of the European legal sources.

Even if during the Middle Age born the idea of a special corporative status of the professors, only the Constitutions of the second half of the twentieth century recognised the academic freedom as a legal individual right. Such an individual right is regulated as category  of  the freedom of expression, even if characterised by particular aspects.

Like any individual right, recognised at constitutional level, freedom of teaching and research are subject to limitations that protect other fundamental rights.

Furthermore, today the academic freedom has lost its traditional sense as defence against the public powers and is granted to play a social function, protecting not only  the corporative interests of teachers.

It can then be concluded that only the developing of the social role of education and research, through the principles of quality, transparency and accountability, ensures the individual and institutional rights of the teachers and researchers, strengthening and upgrading the role that universities are playing in the last 900 years.


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