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Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters

University of Oslo and Scholars at Risk via FutureLearn


Challenge the limits to critical inquiry

Academic freedom is a fundamental value in modern higher education and research.

On this course, you’ll find out how we can use academic freedom to ask critical questions and contribute to a democratic society.

You’ll explore the importance of free and open research, and how it relates to core higher education and societal values.

You’ll understand why academic freedom is crucial for maintaining the quality and relevance of research in higher education.

You’ll learn about some of the current threats to academic freedom, and how this relates to the academic community worldwide.

This course is designed for students and staff in higher education, but it will be relevant for anyone interested in asking critical questions.


  • What is academic freedom?
    • Dangerous questions
    • Lines and line-drawing
  • Threats to academic freedom and impacts on society
    • Introduction to Week 2
    • Consequences
    • Types and sources of threats to academic freedom
    • Why does it matter? Impact of threats to academic freedom on society
  • How you can help promote academic freedom
    • Introduction to Week 3
    • Be proactive: Putting pro-values practices in place
    • Be thoughtful: Assessing values incidents when they arise
    • Be responsible: Responding to values incidents

Taught by

Robert Quinn


4 rating at FutureLearn based on 25 ratings

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