Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa
Conseil pour le développement de la recherche en sciences sociales en Afrique
Conselho para o Desenvolvimento da Pesquisa em Ciências Sociais em África
مجلس تنمية البحوث الإجتماعية في أفريقيا

Academic Freedom and University Autonomy in The Sudan

26-27 February 2007, Khartoum, Sudan

Number of visits: 1566

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is pleased to announce its upcoming conference on Academic Freedom and University Autonomy in the Sudan. The conference is jointly organized with the University of Juba and will draw participation from centers of higher education and advanced research across The Sudan. It is convened within the ambit of the CODESRIA Academic Freedom Programme and will take place in Khartoum over two days from 26 – 27 February, 2007.

The immediate intellectual context for the convening of the meeting is the position enshrined in the 1990 Kampala Declaration on Academic Freedom and the Social Responsibility of Scholars ( that universities and other advanced centers of learning and research cannot fully carry out their roles in the absence of academic freedom and institutional autonomy. Yet, important as they are, the freedom of the scholar and the autonomy of the university are not always respected by governments and university administrators and cannot, therefore, be taken for granted; indeed, they have, historically and contemporaneously, come under attack not just in Africa but also in other regions of the world. In the specific context of The Sudan, the recent political history of the country, captured in part by military rule and a prolonged civil war from which it is still recovering, have served as the immediate backdrop to the attacks that have occurred on the freedom and autonomy of the scholarly community.

The proposed conference will bring together, academic staff and administrators of Sudanese universities, students and policy makers to take stock of the road that has been traveled in the quest for a conducive environment of learning and research, the contemporary challenges posed by the on-going reforms in the higher education system, the challenges arising from the changing global context of higher education, and the opportunities arising from the efforts to achieve an equitable peace in the country after years of war. In addition to presentations on the experience of The Sudan, comparative insights from other countries of Africa will also be shared at the meeting. Arabic and English will be the conference languages.

Among the topics which participants at the conference will be covering are:

i. The Evolution of the Concept of Academic Freedom and University Autonomy;

ii. “National Education Philosophy” and the Quest for the Redefinition of the University Mission and Mandate in The Sudan;

iii. The Impact of Armed Conflicts on Universities and Institutions of Higher Learning;

iv. Autonomy and Professionalism of Academics;

v. Factors Impacting on Autonomy and Academic Freedom;

vi. Indices, Benchmarks, and Index for Academic Freedom and University Autonomy in The Sudan

vii. Roles and Responsibilities of the University Community in Conflict Prevention, the Strengthening Academic Freedom and University Autonomy.

January 4 2010