WARWICK, UK – Is academic freedom affordable in a time of economic crisis? That was the topic for discussion at the annual signing of the Magna Charta Universitatum at the mother of universities, the University of Bologna, earlier this year.
The Magna Charta is the world’s most visible statement of principles for the promotion and protection of university autonomy. Over the past two decades, nearly 700 institutions of higher education on every continent have signed it. Nevertheless, there remains a nagging sense that universities are luxuries now that ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet.