Academic freedom

Scholars at Risk

An international network for threatened scholars.

Current issues

Solidarity with the people of Ukraine

Scholars at Risk stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine in condemning the ongoing act of aggression against Ukraine

Visit the SAR website for more information

Watch the movie about SAR on YouTube

The government has called on Swedish universities and research funding bodies to discontinue cooperation with state institutions in Russia and Belarus. Collaboration between individual researchers will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking security aspects and other factors into account.

National program for researchers from Aghanistan

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 was devastating for the country's universities, with targeted, violent attacks on both students and staff. The international network Scholars at Risk (SAR) has since received applications for support from over 1,500 researchers from the country and has issued an appeal to its members to welcome researchers from Afghanistan to their universities.

At the initiative of SAR-Sweden, Sida has decided to finance a support program during the years 2022-2024. It will provide around ten at-risk researchers from Afghanistan with temporary academic sanctuaries at one of the 22 Swedish universities that are members of Scholars at Risk.

Linnaeus University is currently looking into the possibilities of hosting a researcher from Afghanistan through the SAR-network. 

Afghan research community at risk - what about Academic freedom?

On December 10th, Human rights day, SAR-Sweden held a webinar on the topic academic freedom in Afghanistan after the taliban takeover. Daniel Silander, FSV moderated and with participation from Nina Hjelmgren, Fojo and a former Lnu-student from Afghanistan to give their view on the state of affairs. 

Watch the webinar on lnu-play.

Free to Think report

Scholars at Risk latest Free to Think report is available for download here. It is an annual report by the Academic Freedom Monitoring Project.

Scholars at Risk

Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of higher education institutions and individuals working to protect threatened scholars and to promote academic freedom. SAR protects scholars suffering grave threats to their lives, liberty and well-being by arranging temporary research and teaching positions at institutions in our network as well as by providing advisory and referral services.

The SAR-network has over 500 members in 42 countries. Visit for more information.

Lnu and SAR

Linnaeus University has been a member of Scholars at Risk since 2016 and we hosted our first SAR-scholar during 2019-2020. The Lnu contact person for SAR is Lena Kulmala, Office of external relations.


The Swedish Section for Scholars at Risk is a vibrant community with representatives from 21 universities nation wide. Members are both new and old universities as well as university colleges. The work is lead by a steering group, which is chaired by Karolina Catoni, Gothenburg University, who also took the lead in creating the Swedish section in 2016. We work actively to raise awareness in Sweden and towards securing funding in order to offer scholars at risk temporary positions in Sweden.

SAR Europe

Scholars at Risk Europe, hosted at Maynooth University, is the European office of the global Scholars at Risk network. The European office supports and coordinates the activities of Scholars at Risk national sections and partner networks across Europe to strengthen our collective voice at the European level and contribute to informed policymaking for the greater protection of scholars and increased respect for academic freedom worldwide. 

SAR Europe is supported in its work by members of the European Coordinating Committee for Academic Freedom Advocacy. The Committee pushes for greater integration of academic freedom within Europe's higher education, research, and human rights systems, and for European states to take tangible action to promote and protect academic freedom nationally, regionally, and globally. SAR-Sweden's representative in the Committee is Daniel Silander, department of political science at Linnaeus University (2020-2022).

SAR Europe at Maynooth coordinates InSPIREurope, an 10-partner Europe-wide initiative to support researchers at risk. InSPIREurope is funded under the European Commission’s Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, and will forge a coordinated, cross-sectoral, Europe-wide alliance for researchers at risk. SAR-Sweden is a linked party through Gothenburg University.

Academic freedom globally

In 2020, the UN General Assembly received a report on academic freedom from David Keye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Download the report from the UN website

EU Research Ministers adopted in October 2020 a declaration on the important role of governments in protecting the freedom of scientific research, and in protecting academic freedom in the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) as well as in the European Research Area (ERA).

Download the report “Bonn Declaration on Freedom of Scientific Research”