Akademische Redefreiheit (AkaReF)

Wissenschaftsfreiheit an deutschen Hochschulen – eine Bestandsaufnahme

Start of the project: 2023-Dec-15 - End of the project: 2024-Aug-31

Under keywords such as "threat to (academic) freedom of speech", "cancel culture" or "new sensitivity" towards other positions, there has been increasing discussion in recent years about the state of interaction in academia, if the discourse at universities has changed, if open debates are held less frequently and if academic freedom has ultimately been jeopardised as a result. More broadly, the question is whether and, if so, in what way and to what extent (ideological and moral) conformity exists in university contexts that restricts academic debate with dissenters and the articulation of academic opinions that deviate from the norm of conformity.

This is where the project aims to pick up and contribute to a more comprehensive definition, construction and testing of the various dimensions, aspects, and events of the (possible restriction) of academic freedom. In an extension of the previous perspective, scientists at universities are at the centre of interest.

In order to realise a representative image of the (university) academic field, a quantitative empirical online survey is planned. The survey is based on a randomly selected and researched sample of full-time academic staff (professors and academics with and without a doctorate) working at universities authorised to award doctorates. They are interviewed using a survey instrument to record various aspects of academic freedom of speech and its possible restrictions. For contextualisation purposes, professional biographical, demographic, and individual characteristics of the respondents are collected, which have already proven their worth in nationwide surveys - and provide a basis for comparability with the results of these studies.

Contact person

Gregor Fabian
Gregor Fabian +49 511 450670-133

Funded by

ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius