Scholars at Risk

UiO is a member of the international university network "Scholars at Risk" promoting academic freedom and human rights of scholars. The core activity of the network is to help individual threatened academics through giving them temporary academic positions at the member institutions.

Academic freedom

UiO's strategy is grounded in a spirit of academic freedom and collegiality, and our academic culture is characterised by critical reflection and debate, a critical attitude towards established norms, and a place where objectivity and freedom from prejudice flourish. These characteristics are not obvious all over the world, and many scholars experience restrictions in their research, teaching, publication and dissemination. Some are imprisoned or even threatened on life. As a longstanding and sustaining member of Scholars at Risk, UiO contributes to highlighting academic freedom.


From 2012 UiO was hosting one scholar every year through the SAR network. From 2017, UiO was hosting 4 threatened scholars yearly. The scholars have needed to leave their home countries due to persecution or other threats, and they get a chance to continue their research in peace at UiO. Read the greeting our 2009-10 scholar sent us on his departure, greeting to UiO . 

UiO participates in activities of the Norwegian Section of Scholars at Risk and we contribute to international network activities in cooperation with the global SAR network and SAR Europe. UiO has a Scholars at Risk committee following up on the engagement.

Scholars at Risk-Norway Section is 10 years in 2021 and UiO was hosting an anniversary event on 21 September 2021 Ten Years of Protecting Academic Freedom - What will the Future Bring?

UiO is a partner of the EU-funded project InSPIREurope (2019-22) an Initiative to Support, Promote and Integrate Researchers at Risk in Europe.

UiO coordinated an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership, Academic Refuge 2016-19. The project aimed at strengthening the work to promote academic freedom and other core university values and strengthen the European universities' capacity to welcome threatened scholars and refugees to campus. One of the products of the project is a massive open online course on academic freedom; Dangerous Questions: Why Academic Freedom Matters which runs twice a year.

UiO's human rights award, The Lisl and Leo Eitinger Prize 2012, was awarded to Robert Quinn, Executive Director of Scholars at Risk.

UiO was hosting the Norwegian Scholars at Risk Conference 13 November 2015: International Partnership in Academia - an Ethical Challenge?

Growing network

Scholars at Risk was established at the University of Chicago in June 2000 by a number of universities. From the start, most institutions were American, but over the last years the most substantial growth has been in Europe.The network has over 500 member institutions in 40 countries. UiO has been a member since 2001, and since 2008 some other Norwegian higher education institutions have joined. Scholars at Risk and its Norwegian members launched the Norwegian Section of the network in 2011. Scholars at Risk - Norway Section organises joint activities in Norway focusing on academic freedom, and is coordinated by the University of Agder. There are 19 members of SAR Norway.

The Scholar Rescue Fund

UiO is also a partner of the IIE-Scholar Rescue Fund Alliance. The Scholar Rescue Fund has contributed with financial support for some of the scholars hosted at UiO, but this is normally arranged in cooperation with the Scholars at Risk network.

Published Apr. 21, 2011 12:08 PM - Last modified Dec. 22, 2021 3:44 PM